LP Magazine

JAN-FEB 2019

LP magazine publishes articles for loss prevention, asset protection, and retail professionals covering shrinkage, investigations, shoplifting, internal theft, fraud, technology, best practices, and career development.

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48 JANUARY–FEBRUARY 2019 | LOSSPREVENTIONMEDIA.COM by Read Hayes, PhD, CPP Dr. Hayes is director of the Loss Prevention Research Council and coordinator of the Loss Prevention Research Team at the University of Florida. He can be reached at 321-303-6193 or via email at rhayes@lpresearch.org. © 2018 Loss Prevention Research Council EVIDENCE-BASED LP Opportunity Makes the Crime " L ocation, location, location" has been used at least since the 1920s to make the key point about property-value differences. The same goes for sales success and, in our case, crime risk. I've mentioned before I'm an environmental criminologist, and in the criminology/sociology field "environmental crime" is relatively rare. Most social scientists study criminality, in other words, why some humans are deviant, some worse than others, and why some offend through adulthood rather than aging out of crime like most. We know multiple factors lead to crime, and our environmental criminological focus concerns actual crime, how and why crime events occur. We think more about why people commit an actual offense than why they might become a criminal. We want to better understand why and how people go from thinking about doing something wrong to initiating their attempt and why some even progress their attempts despite multiple obstacles. Multiple interacting factors explain criminality and real crime events including varying genomics, socialization, life circumstances, and finally, perceived crime opportunities. All help predict not only criminality but also actual crime attempts. And it's the last factor—crime opportunity—that environmental criminologists work on. We believe situational opportunities are the center of gravity. No matter how motivated an offender might be, they can't commit a crime without the opportunity to do so. And further, we really can't shape the initial variables, but we can do something to affect crime opportunity. Opportunity Opportunity is perceived differently by different people, but most offenders tend to gravitate toward very attractive and vulnerable targets rather than the opposite. So our protective efforts concentrate on identifying the most attractive physical and digital assets (those most desirable, exposed to threats, and vulnerable) and then making those assets or places tougher to steal or attack. We then increase guardianship, so would-be offenders perceive they'll most likely be caught if they initiate an attempt. Or we clearly let criminals know their theft or attack will not be worth it; they will be denied any benefit from their attempt. This process is called situational crime prevention (SCP), and SCP is how environmental criminology improves crime reduction. And all University of Florida (UF) and Loss Prevention Research Council (LPRC) crime and loss control innovation and research is grounded in SCP principles. Science2Practice UF and LPRC researchers have now compiled more than 300 loss prevention and asset protection (LP) research projects for their over seventy retail chain members, with a lot of learnings. But the problem for LPRC now, like most entities, is getting the flow of evidence-based tactics to the practitioners, corporate planners, and field personnel—in short, usable action guides that enable them to practically use research findings to make a real difference. We must transfer learnings to action. In most science fields, this is called "science2practice," or S2P. S2P is a major 2019 focus for the LPRC and is overseen by the LPRC Board of Advisors S2P Committee headed by Paul Jaeckle, vice president of asset protection at Meijer. It plays out in these channels: ■ LPRC Knowledge Center (KC). Soon to be an amazing app, the keyword searchable KC contains over 300 reports briefs, fifty-plus webinars, twenty podcasts, working group call recap notes, hundreds of offender interview video clips, and more. ■ Webinars and CrimeScience Podcasts. The LPRC generates monthly webinars and biweekly podcasts on emerging topics and research results. ■ Big Six Events. LPRC starts with Kick-Off in New York City following the NRF Big Show, then holds the LPRC Board of Advisors IGNITE planning meeting in March, then conducts an antitheft summit, a supply chain protection summit, and a violent-crime summit. The LPRC community then wraps up with the annual Impact Conference in October. ■ Weekly LPRC Connect eNewsletter. This weekly news brief highlights new research and upcoming working groups calls, introduces new LPRC members and their working group engagement plans, and describes coming events. ■ Working Groups. All seven LPRC working groups bring together multiple retail chains, solution partners, and scientists monthly to address specific problems, propose solution research, and share experiences and project results. We believe situational opportunities are the center of gravity. No matter how motivated an offender might be, they can't commit a crime without the opportunity to do so. And further, we really can't shape the initial variables, but we can do something to affect crime opportunity.

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