Published on Sep 2, 2019

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In the current economic environment, achieving a healthy revenue stream has been tough enough without shoplifters eating into your bottom line.

Chief inspector Michael Gorman from Cessnock Police Station talks to Lowes Cessnock manager Alison Haynes about preventing opportunistic theft


While new figures show Australia has seen a spike in shoplifting, incidents have remained stable in Cessnock but Cessnock Police say any crime is too much.

Cessnock Chief Inspector Michael Gorman said there are things business owners can do to deter shoplifters from walking out the door with their profits.

“Make sure your store is as open as possible with few blind spots,” he said. “Shoplifters love tightly fit stores where they are out of sight. We encourage retailers to install clearly visible CCTV cameras and mirrors on the ceilings.”

He said training staff was also important. Simply doing a walkthrough of the store could reduce the likelihood of crime taking place. There should be a clear procedure in place that all staff understand, should shoplifting occur.

“It’s not only about protecting your income, it’s also about establishing and maintaining a safe environment for employees,” Chief Inspector Gorman said.

He encouraged shopkeepers to report all theft, which it is now possible to do online.

Many retailers weren’t aware of their rights to ban people entering, he said.

“If you have a problematic person that causes aggravation, you don’t have to put up with it. It’s your shop; if you don’t want someone in there, you can ask them to leave.”

Cessnock Police has Crime Prevention Officers based at Kurri Kurri and Muswellbrook.


New survey

A new study surveying 9000 retail stores showed telecommunications, fashion and supermarket retailers are being hit hardest.

The report, Australian and New Zealand Retail Crime Survey, published in late July found shoplifting had spiked 16% in less than two years, costing the sector $3.4 billion a year and accounting for almost 60 per cent of total losses. The rise of self-service checkouts and retailers diverting resources to cyber security was a big contributor.


Community safety meeting

The next Community Safety Precinct Committee meeting is on 9.30am on Tuesday, 17 September 2019 in the Cessnock City Council General Managers Meeting Room.


Go here to report theft online.

See the NSW Police page for more information and tips on preventing crime in your business.

More on the Australian and New Zealand Retail Crime Survey.