Retailers are increasingly focused on establishing additional layers of control – so it makes sense why License Plate Recognition (LPR) is becoming a common talking point when it comes to LP strategies. And vehicles of interest (VOIs) are already a critical focal point in retail safety strategies. According to the Retail Crime Insights Report, 81% of VOIs in the US were connected to repeat offenders in the last 12 months.

Moreover, repeat offenders are four times more likely to cause safety incidents. That means the key to prioritizing human safety lies not in direct confrontation, but in the strategic identification of the vehicles used by repeat offenders.

LPR isn’t new to AP/LP professionals, but intelligence-led LPR is a highly effective game-changer in the space. That’s because it turns a standard security tool into an actionable, strategic asset that prioritizes human safety and uses data-informed insights to maintain secure retail spaces.

If you've seen or heard of intelligence-led LPR but don't understand how it's different from other approaches, you're in the right place. Let's dive in.

Retail safety strategies: protecting human life

The scope of loss prevention has expanded to human safety first and foremost. This shift is matching the rise of Organized Retail Crime and violence in stores.

AP/LP leaders recognize that threats to retail environments can have far-reaching consequences beyond financial impact, such as physical harm to customers and staff. In response, these leaders are increasingly turning to solutions like intelligence-led Auror LPR, recognizing its potential to significantly increase the safety and security of stores.

What is LPR for retail?

License Plate Recognition (LPR) technology, in a retail context, is a system designed to read and analyze vehicle license plates automatically. LPR systems use high-resolution cameras and other systems to capture and convert images of license plates into alphanumeric text, which can then be cross-referenced. Retailers worldwide have adopted LPR (sometimes known as ANPR) increasingly as an important component of their security strategies.

LPR consists of two main components:

  • Hardware: Cameras specifically designed to capture clear, readable images of license plates under various conditions, such as different lighting environments and speeds of movement.
  • Software: Programs that process the captured images, using optical character recognition (OCR) technology to extract the license plate numbers and letters.

Historically, retailers have deployed LPR primarily for these functions:

  • Loss prevention
  • Parking lot management
  • Public safety

How LPR and Retail Crime Intelligence work together

Data is made more actionable within context. Together, LPR and Retail Crime Intelligence provide that critical context, empowering retailers to take data-informed measures to reduce crime and improve overall safety.

What is Intelligence-led LPR?

Intelligence-led LPR is an actionable, connected technology solution that’s part of Auror's Retail Crime Intelligence platform. Unlike standalone LPR systems that operate primarily on license plate detection and recognition, intelligence-led LPR is backed by rich intel and responsibly empowers collaboration at scale across organizations, agencies, and regions.

With Auror LPR, retailers can not only identify vehicles of interest, but also understand the broader implications of their presence in relation to crime behaviors.

The true value of LPR backed by Retail Crime Intelligence

  • Actionable intelligence for prevention: With rich intel, LPR systems can alert retailers about potential threats based on known previous involvement of certain vehicles in criminal activities. This stance of prevention over intervention significantly reduces the risk of theft, fraud, and violence.
  • Data-informed decision-making: With insights derived from intelligence-led LPR, retailers can make informed decisions about where and how to deploy their security resources most effectively. When known vehicles appear, intelligence-led LPR can signal to AP/LP teams what kind of behaviors to expect, so they can then make the right choices to de-escalate situations and prioritize human safety.
  • Connected ecosystem: Intelligence-led LPR serves as a cornerstone for the connected ecosystem that includes various solutions for retail AP/LP teams. Retailers need to construct a holistic view of their security landscape, where each solution and partner can contribute to a deeper understanding and more effective approach.
  • Community impact: The benefits of intelligence-led LPR extend beyond individual retail locations. With Retail Crime Intelligence, retailers take a collaborative approach to crime prevention as a community. Securely sharing intelligence and insights among retailers amplifies our collective ability to mitigate and prevent retail crime, creating safer environments for customers and businesses alike.

Auror LPR vs. traditional LPR

Traditional LPR

  • Primarily focused on identifying and recording license plates
  • Limited to reading and storing license plate information
  • Passive and manual; used for creating unlinked hot lists
  • Yields general observations and historical data in isolated incidents
  • Reacts to incidents with basic vehicle identification
  • Operates as a standalone system with limited integration capabilities

Auror LPR

  • Responsibly combines LPR data with Retail Crime Intelligence to prevent and invesitgate crime
  • Analyzes license plates in the context of known offenders
  • Real-time; alerts team members when known offenders enter the parking lot
  • Offers strategic, dynamic, and connected insights
  • Seamlessly integrates with a connected ecosystem for a unified approach

Intelligence-led LPR represents more than just an advancement in retail security; it's a paradigm shift towards a more secure, data-informed approach to protecting retail environments. AP/LP leaders leveraging Retail Crime Intelligence are redefining what it means to be proactive in the face of evolving, worsening retail crime and violence.

Interested in learning more about how to supercharge your preventions with LPR? Read this LPR customer story.

May 13, 2024
Crime Intelligence

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