LP Magazine

MAY-JUN 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.

Issue link: http://digital.lpportal.com/i/978254

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Page 56 of 76

line is that shoplifting is up for most retail segments. What about other retail crimes in Los Angeles? In order to provide a more well-rounded view of retail crime in Los Angeles, let's take a look at trends for offenses other than shoplifting. Some of the comments made during the aforementioned podcast touched on the fact that retail criminals are getting more confrontational and violent. "And you're starting to see more cases of these thieves becoming more brazen where now workers are in danger. We've had incidents here in California where we've had some workers assaulted. Last summer, there was a security officer who was killed trying to stop somebody from taking stuff from a store," said Moreno. "During the past two years, we've seen officers shot and wounded and killed by veteran felons who were on the street in times when previously they would have been in custody," added Naiman. In support of these assertions, you can see some large violent crime increases in the data. Whether this is all due to increased offending or whether it relates to changes in data collection or recording practices remains to be determined. Aggravated assault, other assault, and robbery all went up over the last couple of years. Retail robberies went from 919 in 2011 to 1,752 in 2017, which represents a 90.6 percent increase. Aggravated assaults show an even more extreme upward shift with a 143.8 percent increase from 2011 to 2017. Finally, all other assaults show a 75.8 percent increase. The exact nature of these increases needs to be investigated. Property crimes, on the other hand, show a bit of a mixed trend. Burglary counts fluctuate across the study period, although the last two years show a consistent increase. Fraud and forgery incidents went up significantly in 2015 followed by a downward trend over the next two years. Other retail thefts, meaning any theft incidents not included in the shoplifting categories, actually show a continuous decrease over the last six years. Vandalism is the one property-crime category that most closely mimics shoplifting and crimes-against-persons trends. Again, changes in data collection and recording practices may play a role in these changes. What Does All This Mean? Next Steps. While nationwide crime trends are more ambiguous, there's a clearer picture for Los Angeles. Retail crime appears to be up, and regardless of the reasons behind this trend, it requires collaboration among retailers, law enforcement, and other experts to determine the best ways to address this issue. Recording and reporting practices, organized retail crime, and potentially increased offending in general may play some role in these concerning trends, but we cannot discount the potential impact of Proposition 47. Based on the persuasive comments made by experts on the "The Unintended Consequences of California's Proposition 47 on Retail Theft" podcast, stakeholders should address some of the controversial aspects of the ballot initiative. In fact, recently a coalition of retailers, prosecutors, and law enforcement formed the California Public Safety Partnership program. The group is sponsoring a new ballot measure to modify Proposition 47 Other Theft Fraud & Forgery 3,829 3,767 3,891 3,775 3,232 3,097 2,832 4000 3000 2000 1000 0 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 919 906 846 958 1,340 1,620 1.752 1800 1350 900 450 0 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Vandalism 361 320 354 403 392 512 581 600 450 300 150 0 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 RETAIL CRIME IN LOS ANGELES Recently a coalition of retailers, prosecutors, and law enforcement formed the California Public Safety Partnership program. The group is sponsoring a new ballot measure to modify Proposition 47 to correct the negative outcomes of the original initiative. continued on page 58 56 MAY–JUNE 2018 | LOSSPREVENTIONMEDIA.COM

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