LP Magazine

MAR-APR 2011

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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PARTNERING WITH RETAILERS by Paul Jones Our commitment to curtailing the sale of stolen goods online is evidenced by our partnerships with both the retail and criminal justice communities. The industry has made monumental strides in dealing with today's organized retail crime. However, when I look to the future, especially as a parent, a major question remains: "What, if anything, can we do to prevent today's youthful shoplifting offenders from becoming tomorrow's internal, ORC, online, and petty theft offenders?" In the past several years, police departments, prosecutors, and courts have had to pull back on the prosecution and handling of misdemeanor shoplifting due to state and local budget cuts. Today, even those juvenile offenders who are prosecuted may not be getting effective sanctions. In addition, a recent survey by the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention (NASP) has revealed a new trend in juvenile shoplifting—more youth are being asked to shoplift for others, stealing multiple items, and selling the goods they steal. With courts doing less and a new generation of tech-savvy kids stealing more, there is a real concern that without intervention, youth will come to believe they can shoplift from retailers with impunity and easily sell the stolen goods over the Internet. What is needed is a simple and practical way to address this generation's misguided thinking about shoplifting and dispel the notion that selling goods via the Internet is an easy, anonymous way to make a quick buck. To that end, eBay has partnered with NASP in a national educational campaign. The partnership will provide parent information pamphlets to the families of one million youthful shoplifting offenders and launch a new website—"Say No to Shoplifting"—that will serve as a: Q Source for information, education, and programs for families affected by shoplifting, Q Guide to both criminal and civil responsibilities and obligations after a shoplifting incident, Q Community resource for shoplifting prevention education and information, Q Tool to prevent repeat offenses, helping youth put shoplifting behind them forever, and Q Registration portal for parents to enroll their child in NASP's Youth Educational Shoplifting program (Y.E.S.). The coordination with NASP's Y.E.S. program is perhaps the most appealing component of the partnership. Y.E.S. has widespread credibility with prosecutors, courts, and law enforcement and is an established, proven shoplifting prevention program. In fact, the latest recidivism study on the Y.E.S. program was conducted in Seattle by the King County Partnership for Youth Justice. The four-year study found that the program is an "extraordinarily effective intervention" for reducing shoplifting and is effective in "reducing criminal behavior in general." Paul Jones is Global Director of Asset Protection. Contact him at pajones@ebay.com. With courts doing less and a new generation of tech-savvy kids stealing more, there is a real concern that without intervention youth will come to believe they can shoplift from retailers with impunity. Our partnership is rooted not only in the need to address changing trends in shoplifting, but to address the continued growth and evolution of shoplifting into full-scale organized retail crime, an ever-present challenge for the retail, online, and law enforcement communities. This program aims to change a juvenile's attitude and behavior, correct their misguided thinking, and impede the progress of shoplifting at its most fundamental level. Seizing Opportunity We all know that the retail loss prevention community is the first and often the only touch point with a juvenile shoplifter. As such, your involvement is key to this program, but your contribution is simple. Just provide the information to families by handing out the parent information pamphlets about the Y.E.S. program and other parental resources at the time of apprehension. I am excited about this new proactive program. Helping to keep our children on the correct path is a challenge we can all align around. For more information about NASP, visit www.shopliftingprevention.org.

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