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Store Detectives

Professional shoplifters say that their biggest occupational hazard is the store detective.

Retail chains vary widely in their loss prevention strategies. Some have plain clothes store detectives or loss prevention investigators operating in every store; other retailers looked at the "hard" ROI of store detectives, and now have no plain clothes staff whatsoever.

Professional shoplifters know that they have to look around at people to spot a store detective, and this action alone result in them being spotted by the store detective first, which will ultimately lead to arrest. For this reason professional thieves may specifically target chains with no plain clothes security staff.

The ROI (Return on Investment) of a Store Detective is the reduction in loss caused by reputational crime deflection, combined with the value of goods recovered.

To an extent, store detective services suffered a decline with the advent of the Fixed Penalty Public Nuisance Notice. The new 2009 sentencing guidelines have meant that once again store detectives can demonstrate a high ROI. There has previously been negative information regarding effective ROI of Store Detectives. The Data has been skewed by in-experienced managers believing that a uniformed guard "out of uniform" is a Store Detective. A high quality Store Detective is versed in the art of covert surveillance, people watching and behavioural expertise.

The store detective will work within a legal framework understanding "any person" powers of arrest, whilst avoiding any accusations of unlawful or wrongful arrest. It's the retailer's choice whether to employ "In House" or use contract detectives. In House store detectives are often much higher paid than their contracted counterparts, which can lead to the best contract store detectives eventually seeking an in house position.

Store Detectives are often most effective when they are deployed singly rather than in pairs. A professional undercover store detective will integrate seemlessly with the individual store profile, meaning the customers can enjoy an uninterrupted and positive shopping experience, whilst the thief will inevitably get caught.

Stealth - Suppliers of Store Detectives Undercover store detectives are a subtle but effective way of keeping a closer eye on those individuals intent on stealing from you, your staff or your customers. Stealth provides store detectives to patrol retail and business premises, discover and deal with theft, both externally and internally. In a retail environment external thieves are typically arrested and presented to store management, and then passed to police. Internal issues may also be reviewed, and any internal theft or problems are reported. Teams of store detectives are used for specifically identified problem areas.