A new online system will help put more names to more CCTV images of unidentified shoplifters and other retail-related fraudsters.
Called CRPix, the new system is free to use for anyone involved in crime reduction or prevention.
Christmas is the busiest time of the year for retailers – and shoplifters too, who stole goods worth around £2.1bn in the last year. CRPix will help to give them an unwelcome Christmas present, and to make the new year their least prosperous yet.
CRPix - Crime Reduction Partnership Intelligence Exchange - enables shops, police and local shopwatch schemes to post images on a secure website. Each week the site – at www.littoralis.info/crpix - automatically sends out an email newsletter to anyone who signs up for it, displaying the latest images. Any recipient who recognises an image displayed on the e-newsletter can immediately access the website itself and, through it, submit their information direct to the individual who is appealing for information.
CRPix is free to use for both those who post images and those who submit information about them, and is entirely funded by Littoralis Limited, the UK's leading supplier of secure information-sharing systems for crime reduction. It is supported by the Association of Business Crime Partnerships.
According to Charlie Newman of Littoralis, "retail-related crime such as shoplifting, card theft and fraud is one of the biggest categories of crime in the country, and generates a vast amount of intelligence in the form of good-quality CCTV images of offenders. But putting names to them is a huge challenge because of the sheer volume of images, and pressure on police budgets and resources means that too much of this valuable material is going to waste.”
CRPix enables people involved in retail crime reduction, such as security staff in shopping centres, CCTV suite operators and retailers themselves, to peruse the images and put names to those they recognise. Says Newman: “Together these people have a huge wealth of knowledge and CRPix is a way of focusing that knowledge so that real strides can be made to reduce the level of retail-related crime and fraud in the UK.”
CRPix will be especially useful in helping identify travelling, persistent offenders such as 'professional' shoplifters who may be well-known to retailers and crime reduction partnerships in one part of the country, but unknown in another. “Until now there has been no efficient way of displaying these images to people who might be able to identify them," says Newman. "We believe CRPix will change that.”
Because CRPix handles only unidentified CCTV images - which are not classified as 'Personal Data' under the Data Protection Act - they can be distributed widely among people who are actively involved in retail crime and fraud reduction.
Another feature of CRPix is a growing library of new or novel theft or fraud methods. A 'modus operandi' may be new in one part of the country but may be well-known to retailers in another. CRPix enables retailers throughout the country to share information about a new MO among themselves so that they are prepared for it when a perpetrator tries it in their own store.
For more on CRPix and how to become a member or an 'author' visit www.crpix.org.uk or register at www.littoralis.info/crpix to receive the CRPix weekly e-newsletter.
Notes to editors:
Littoralis Limited is a specialist in the provision of secure, online information-sharing systems for crime reduction. Its BCRP Intranet product is the only secure intranet designed specifically for local crime reduction purposes and is used throughout the UK by partnerships and police. Visit the Littoralis website at www.littoralis.com for more information or call 01273 900468 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Association of Business Crime Partnerships ABCP was originally established with assistance from the Home Office in 2004. It is an independent not-for-profit organisation working with business crime reduction partnerships (BCRPs), police, local authorities and other agencies to help businesses reduce the impact and cost of crime against them, their staff and the communities they trade in. ABCP works with retailers, the evening economy, transport and other business sectors to reduce crime affecting business in towns, cities and shopping centres. Visit the ABCP website at www.businesscrime.org.uk for more information.
According to the Centre for Retail Research, retail 'shrinkage' caused by crime, waste and error in 2011 amounted to £3.8bn or 1.37% of total UK retail sales. The greatest component was theft by customers, which accounted for £2.1bn followed by theft by employees which amounted to £1.7bn. For more information on CRR’s research which is based on the 12-month period to October 2011, click here www.retailresearch.org/ukretailcrime.php
For more information on CRPix please contact Charlie Newman of Littoralis on 01273 900468 or email email@example.com
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