“They came at us yelling, ‘what the f*** are you doing, go back into your shop before I f*** you up!’” - retail worker

More support against increasing levels of violence and aggression is coming for retailers, with an announcement from New Zealand Police that they will be setting up a National Retail Investigation Support Unit (Retail ISU). This is the first unit of its kind in this part of the world.

Data from Auror’s Crime Intelligence Platform shows serious incidents within retail, such as robberies and assaults, have doubled in the last 12 months and aggression and violence has increased by almost 20% in the grocery sector alone.

“We’ve had knives pulled on our security teams three times in the last month” - grocery retailer
“We’ve had to adapt our training significantly to cater for more violence.” - National Prevention Manager
“She presented the scissors and threatened us that if we try to stop them she will stab us. We backed off and let them go.” - security guard

By utilising data from the Auror platform, police have come up with a new approach to focus on the small number of offenders who are responsible for the majority of the loss and aggression. Auror Co-CEO Phil Thomson notes that “while only 1 in 10 shoplifters are repeat offenders, these repeat offenders account for half of all serious events and are five times more likely to be violent or aggressive towards retail team members and customers”.

The Retail ISU was announced by police at the Retail NZ Summit on In-store Violence and Anti-Social Behaviour on 8 November. Police have designed this unit to better collaborate with the retail industry. This will allow police and retailers to work together to focus their efforts on this violent and aggressive behaviour, making the community safer for everyone.

This collaboration and setup of the Retail ISU is supported by police leadership with Commissioner Andrew Coster sharing that “working together allows us to make the most of our resources. The sector understands the changing crime environment and police can provide strategic support, core policing and prevention activity and advice”.

Auror has offered to support the Retail ISU by providing data, intelligence analysis, and access to additional investigation functionalities on Auror’s platform.

Phil Thomson says this is a great move towards enhancing the collaboration and partnership between retailers and police and Auror is “proud to be able to support such a great initiative with our technology to help enable better outcomes for a safer community”.

November 6, 2021

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