When it comes to addressing retail crime, retailers and law enforcement organizations want the same end goal – to create safer stores and communities. However, achieving effective collaboration towards that goal is often easier said than done.

In an ideal world, businesses could seamlessly join forces with law enforcement to swiftly investigate and prevent retail crimes. But we understand the challenges posed by limited resources and diverging priorities on both sides.

While retail-law enforcement collaboration may be challenging, it is by no means impossible. At Auror, we have had the privilege of witnessing firsthand the remarkable impact of successful partnerships between retailers and law enforcement agencies worldwide. Within these inspiring success stories, we have identified key elements that create a winning formula for reducing retail crime.

Let’s look at a blueprint for stronger partnerships between retailers and law enforcement organizations.

The recipe for effective collaboration

Across different regions and approaches towards retail crime prevention, we’ve discovered that the most successful partnerships between retailers and law enforcement share three key elements:

  1. Commitment from both sides: Both retailers and law enforcement must be willing to dedicate resources to their shared mission to combat retail crime.
  2. Leveraging technology: Highly effective partnerships make use of the right tools to digitize work, streamline manual tasks, and make the most of limited resources. 
  3. Data-driven decisions: Data empowers retailers and law enforcement agencies to concentrate their efforts where they can drive the most impact, focusing on trends, patterns, and repeat people.

From what we’ve seen, it’s not enough for retailers and law enforcement agencies to share a vision and desire to work together though. They have to ground their partnership in technology and use valuable data-led insights to inform their decisions. By supporting themselves with actionable intelligence, the most successful partnerships can allocate resources more strategically and work together more effectively to keep our communities safe.

Success stories: retail and law enforcement collaboration

Let’s explore real-life Auror success stories from which we’ve extracted these takeaways. These partnerships between retailers and law enforcement agencies have made a tangible difference in reducing theft and protecting businesses and communities all over the world. These are the remarkable outcomes that can be achieved when committed professionals leverage technology and data to address retail crime together.

South Australia Police

By the numbers:

  • About 6,000 officers total across 110 regions
  • Serving 1.8M people
  • Retail crime team size: 8 officers + inspector, senior management team, and intelligence support
  • Results: 651 total arrests (489 identified through Auror) and over 4,000 charges

Operation Measure” is the South Australia Police’s award-winning retail crime-focused team. Comprising just eight police officers with oversight from an Inspector and senior management team, plus intelligence support, Operation Measure works on a rotational basis, with several key members remaining since its inception. It was originally intended as a three-month operation focused on retail crime, but has been extended numerous times based on their incredible results and outcomes, which include recidivist identification and disruption, as well as community safety.

With 651 total arrests (489 identified through Auror) and over 4,000 charges, South Australia Police are collaborating with retailers to achieve meaningful results for their communities.

Highlight on collaboration

A year-long chase across state lines: South Australia’s most prolific offender, wanted in four states for fraud and retail offending, evaded authorities for years. But thanks to an extraordinary collaboration between South Australia Police, retailers, and Auror’s technology, their retail crime spree came to an end on Jan. 28, 2023, when the SA Police apprehended and charged the offender.

After offending in Victoria since 2020, the person of interest (POI) traveled to New South Wales (NSW), offending through the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) along the way. After being arrested in NSW, the POI and a known accomplice traveled back through ACT and into South Australia, leaving a trail of offenses across all of Australia's leading retailers in the process.

Unbeknownst to them, retailers throughout the region had been on high alert, collaborating closely with South Australia Police, other retailers, and interstate police. With the help of Auror Investigate, SA Police built a comprehensive profile that eventually led to the arrest of both offenders in Adelaide.

The POI has been charged with over 100 offenses, with additional charges pending further investigation; their accomplice has also been charged with numerous offenses. Both are being held in remand, and stores throughout South Australia are that much safer for it.

Through the tireless efforts of both police and retailers, empowered by Auror’s technology, we are able to put an end to interstate retail crime sprees such as this one.

New Zealand Police

By the numbers:

  • 13,000 police officers
  • Serving 5M people
  • Retail crime team size: 6 members
  • Results: Over 1,000 charges across 178 offenders

New Zealand’s National Retail Investigation Support Unit (NRISU) was first established in May 2022 with one manager — the team now consists of three investigators, one intelligence support officer, admin, and a supervisor.

In just nine months, the NRISU has reached over 1,000 charges across 178 people.

Highlight on collaboration

The NRISU has been relentless in their pursuit of retail crime in New Zealand. Their most recent investigation into two prolific retail offenders resulted in a total of 82 charges for more than $300,000 in theft.

The NRISU have also assisted with other major operations, such as in combating youth crime. At the time of publication, there have been 607 prosecutions and 257 youth referrals since January 2022 in relation to these operations.

ORCAs in the US

By the numbers:

  • Serving 23 states
  • Retail crime team size: More than 2,700 law enforcement professionals and 3,000 retail users
  • Results: In 2022, identified 188 multi-city repeat offenders and 5,490 people who displayed threatening behavior

No longer regionalized silos, ORCAs (Organized Retail Crime Associations) now partner across the US to keep their communities safe. This national movement, in collaboration with Auror,  includes more than 2,700 law enforcement professionals and 3,000 retail users. Together in 2022, retail and law enforcement leaders serving 23 states identified 188 multi-city repeat people and 5,490 people who displayed threatening behavior.

Highlight on collaboration

The complexity, volume, and anonymity of retail crime that spans county and state lines is a difficult challenge to outpace – which makes interstate collaboration vital in staying one step ahead. That’s why ORCAs across the US are working together, collaborating with Auror and retailers, to protect their communities and ensure accountability for retail offenders.

One leading retailer in North America suffered a $30,000 loss event at the hands of an organized retail crime (ORC) group. After another event, the loss prevention team opened an investigation. In a different state’s ORCA meeting, the repeat offenders were identified, linked to the initial investigation, and posted in a law enforcement bulletin on the ORCA platform.

These efforts have mobilized the collective forces of multiple retailers’ AP/LP teams, law enforcement agencies, and ORCAs from coast to coast in the US. Now, ORCAs and law enforcement are using details from the bulletin and investigation to collect enough evidence to prosecute this ORC group.

It takes a network to defeat a network

Thanks to collaboration, we’ve ushered in a new era where retailers and law enforcement agencies can stand shoulder to shoulder, powered by the tools and capabilities to dismantle retail crime networks and bring them to justice. The end result is more effective identification and case closure, reducing retail crime at scale.

When police, retailers, and partners like Auror share a common vision and are empowered by technology and data, our collective strength is unmatched. Together, we’re able to fortify our communities against the threats of retail crime, swiftly respond to challenges, and ensure accountability.

At Auror, we are passionate about empowering retailers and law enforcement agencies to collaborate more effectively. Our innovative solutions are designed to supercharge these vital partnerships, enabling seamless information sharing, real-time intelligence, and data-driven decision-making to maximize impact. With Auror, both parties gain the edge needed to both proactively deter and solve retail crimes.

Continue reading: Taking an outcome-based approach to reducing retail crime

July 16, 2023
Law Enforcement

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