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    Pregnancy Tests, Cheese, and Razor Blades: What’s the Common Denominator?

    They are the top items stolen from supermarkets around the world. The zeitgeist of supermarket theft is shifting. No longer are shoplifters focusing on traditional CRAVED (concealable, removable, available, valuable, enjoyable, disposable) goods such as batteries, brand named drugs, or products like printer cartridges that they try and exchange for cash at a later date. This is partly because many old school CRAVED goods are kept behind counters or carry a security tag. Not so with the humble cheese, which means supermarket security cannot be planed car-philly enough – sorry I couldn’t resist. As for pregnancy tests, they are often used in store and ditched in toilet bins. In Australia alone, supermarkets loose as much as A$2.9 billion annually to acts like these which are labeled, rather euphemistically, by the industry as ‘shrink’.


    The people responsible for shrink are not always the usual suspects. Petty thieves are using pregnancy tests in the bathroom, but there are also serial thieves, and organised theft rings. It’s not only adolescents who steal, although for the moment they still make up the largest percentage of age category caught shoplifting. One theft ring in America was composed only of senior citizens, where one would steal an item and another would return it for cash in a few days time. Here in Victoria, there has been a rise in light fingered geriatrics with five shoplifters aged over 70 being caught each week, but often facing reduced or lesser charges because of their (unexpected) age.


    There isn’t a major supermarket chain anywhere on the planet that doesn’t employ a security system to reduce its shrinkage. Security measures and processes need to be implemented across all stores in the chain with some uniformity. However, expert knowledge should assist in understanding why some stores are targeted more than others and how security can be tailored in that particular store location. These practices need to be updated as thieves change preferences and practices so the store is always one step ahead. This is the kind of expertise Chartercom can offer chain store operators. Our solutions are not based on yesterday’s information or cookie cutter notions of ‘one security solution suits all’. When products like cheese suddenly enter the top ten choice items for shoplifters, we assist retailers with store plans, security cameras, product placement, and security gates to target this new theft hot spot without neglecting others. Costco selected Chartercom for their security needs because they know we are experts in this field.


    For a confidential consultation to assess your stores’ security needs call Chartercom today on 1300 844 844 or visit us at chartercomsecurity.com.au to see how we can help. You would be Edam fool not to! Ok enough of the cheesy jokes.


    If your business is operating out of a warehouse or looks like it soon will be, there are some pretty specific things that you need to put in place (or confirm that you have) to ensure that your business is running smoothly and will continue to do so. Security is a big concern for any business owner, and you need to lay foundations to protect your assets and your staff. After all, your reputation and revenue depend on you being able to produce your product or service uninterrupted. If a security threat stops production for whatever reason it can severely compromise work flow. Warehouses are frequent targets for theft given the potentially large amount of valuable stock, the numerous access points and the often-secluded location. As a result, it’s vital that a comprehensive security system is part of your business. We wanted to highlight some of the key elements of warehouse security in an attempt to help you better protect your assets and give you greater peace of mind.


    1. Implement a sign-in process


    If yours is a business where people are coming and going all day, it may be helpful for you to keep a closer eye on what’s going on by using a sign-in book or log. Simply make it part of your policy that all guests and visitors have to go via the main office to sign in in order to access your space. In the event that a theft does occur on your property you can narrow it down to a certain day and even time and then check your security camera footage from that date.


    1. Keep polices and boundaries signposted for staff


    There are certain parts of your warehouse where everyone will need access to, and then there are areas in your space where only certain people will need to go to complete certain tasks. You need to signpost this kind of information very clearly so that there is no confusion from staff. In any warehouse there shouldn’t be persons in areas where they are not required. Restricting access means there’s less opportunity for people to claim items as their own. Shrinkage due to employee theft is a huge concern for business owners, and there are countless measures that you can put in place to keep your employees honest and accountable. Perhaps as part of your wider security plan your business could make it a rule that people have to park further away from the promises (to avoid theft of large or bulky items), or that staff have to work in partnerships – whatever the measures you take, you can easily limit opportunities for employee theft.


    1. Use many forms of surveillance


    It should be a given that you have video surveillance in place, and people working around the clock to watch your property – but what if your warehouse has recently expanded? Do you have the security in place to cover the additional space? You should have onsite security if possible. It may be possible that your local police force can help to protect your property, or that you can contact a private security firm to provide surveillance. Using different types of security (like mobile patrols and alarm monitoring) can help you to cover all your bases.


    1. Utilise a security guard/routine patrol service


    The most obvious time for an external burglary is at night, when there are few people around and under the cover of darkness. Obviously, you should try to keep your premises as well lit as possible and to keep guards on for a constant security presence. If you can use a security guard in your property you definitely should – it will definitely serve to discourage theft. A security vehicle parked out the front of your property or on a patrol will deter would-be thieves, as will a lighting system. If you have a particularly large property you do need to ensure that you have a sufficient number of guards to protect and patrol your entire warehouse.


    1. Use uniforms and name tags


    As your business grows you’ll find it increasingly difficult to keep track of everyone. Theft can occur when brazen thieves simply walk in and steal items from your warehouse. You can alleviate the stress of not knowing who is who by using nametags and uniforms for your staff; thereby making it difficult for people who aren’t supposed to be in your warehouse to be there. It’s just another simple step to take to keep your business safe.



    Don’t forget that you can always call on Chartercom Security for any and all of your warehouse security needs.



    We at Chartercom Security are ready to provide you and your warehouse with a custom security solution that will safeguard your staff and merchandise around the clock. Call us on 1300 844 844 or visit us at chartercomsecurity.com.au for a confidential assessment of your commercial security needs.