Some retailers have a false sense of being secure by installing a CCTV system to deter retail theft. CCTV systems are a powerful tool, but like other tools in the fight against theft they have limitations. Retailers come to believe that now that they have installed a CCTV system that their retail theft will stop with little or no further effort on their part. That belief may actually cost them more money in the long run.
Here’s why: CCTV systems are passive in nature. They record 24/7 but normally they are not watched live. Certainly a small business owner may have a monitor and glance at it during the day. However, unless a person or incident is brought to their attention that is the extent of it. There may even be a monitor that a cashier can use to observe. But really how much time does that cashier spend watching? Most likely very little, especially after the novelty has worn off.
So what do we do? First you have to set your expectations correctly. CCTV is a great tool used to deter, stop and catch several types of retail theft including: employee theft, shoplifting and vendor fraud. But, keeping in mind that CCTV is a PASIVE system you must remember that everyone else knows this also including employees, shoplifters and vendors. These people know over time that the system is not actively being watched. Most cases it only used to look back at an incident. They are aware that you do not have the payroll to actively observe. In most cases they will test this to see if you are watching.
I will present the solutions to each of these in a following blog.
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