LP Magazine

JAN-FEB 2018

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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POWER TO THE PEOPLE perceived a basic flaw. "I have sold the best there is—cutting-edge cameras, effective storage and retrieval systems—and at end of the day the question is always the same: who is that criminal that my million-dollar surveillance system got a nice clean picture of? There has never been a good way to answer that." It was that missing piece that Brebric says led him to develop Solveacrime. "It's always been about that—and the fact that law enforcement can't keep up with the demand and the number of videos that are ripe for investigations." Many in law enforcement also see potential in "crowdsolving" and think it will increasingly play an important role in crime prevention. "Social media is a fantastic tool, and in concert with banks, retail stores, or whomever the victims of crime are, it's imperative that law enforcement takes advantage of it," said Curt Crum, special services manager in the criminal investigation division of the Boise (Idaho) Police Department and president of the Coalition of Law Enforcement and Retail Conference (CLEAR). Crum sees value in all of the many different models of intelligence sharing and platforms for posting incidents—free ones, subscriber-based, industry, law enforcement—especially for addressing high-profile crimes. "There is a need for all of it," he said. The Internet and social media are forever changing all aspects of society—asset protection included. "I've talked to a couple of peers, and they're already putting their nose in and saying 'this could really work,'" Oberosler said. "I've been in AP for a long time, and we've never collectively had a platform that could help provide a solution to a national issue." Downsides? Live for a little more than seven months, retailers are early in the learning curve about Solveacrime, according to Brebric. "It's still a young audience, but major retailers are starting to become aware, and as a concept it makes a lot of sense to them," he said. There is one common point of concern, however. "They want to be sure that the store can remain anonymous, and that exactly when and where a crime happened doesn't have to be disclosed." Especially for a high-end retailer in a tony shopping district, the idea of advertising that a crime took place is a real worry—and one that the site accommodates. Retailers can remain anonymous, and other identifying features about a crime don't need to be included. "The retailer has the option because he has the keys. What information they want to release about an incident is up to them," explained Brebric. "Some retailers, for personal, branding reasons, will choose to remain anonymous." In those cases, a retailer will typically share a series of still images that are edited to remove any indication of where the crime took place, and identify only the zip code where it happened. "Then they will throw the question out to the crowd, of 'do you know who this person is?' and they still get tips." But while stores can post crimes anonymously, they may not want to. Rite Aid, for one, is finding value in fueling its reputation as a retailer that will go to great lengths to catch a criminal. Although the tool is still in its nascent stage, certain strategies are proving to be helpful at maximizing tips. Not surprisingly, offering a reward is one of them. "Rewards are a big enticer. You can get some tips with zero dollars; but $500 to $1,000 is sort of the minimum for a major crime to get people to turn others in," explained Brebric, who added that, "Retailers have so many crimes that they normally would have to write off as 'we can't find this person,' but we can get them tips that lead to law enforcement apprehensions that they've never been able to have." – Dario Brebric, Captis Intelligence 18 JANUARY–FEBRUARY 2018 | LOSSPREVENTIONMEDIA.COM

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