in LPRC Reports

Effective Loss Prevention Means Protecting Lives, Selling More and Losing Less Hayes 2006

Effective Loss Prevention Means Protecting Lives,
Selling More and Losing Less
Security Journal (2006) 19, 211 – 215. doi: 10.1057/
Individual retailers may make billions in revenue every year, but they also lose millions.
These huge losses make security efforts vital to success, and even survival. For 30 or more
years, retail security efforts have been called loss prevention (LP). LP rather than crime prevention
is a fi tting term since retail security executives are responsible for preventing both
crime and non-crime (human and system errors, fl aws and omissions) losses throughout
the supply chain and stores. The challenge of preventing crime and loss means designing
and deploying protective people, processes and systems ( Hayes, 1997 ). Retail operations
generally look for investments including those to prevent losses, providing fi nancial or other
demonstrable value to shareholders. This requirement means LP programmes be carefully
developed and evaluated. However, traditional anecdotally based or weak R & D designed
programmes have not signifi cantly changed retail loss levels over the last decade ( Bamfi eld
and Hollinger, 1996 ; Hollinger and Langton, 2005 ).
In order to effectively secure retail locations, their products and their employees and
customers, protective research should be conducted to more accurately measure, explain and
prevent shoplifting. Evidence-based research concepts are prevalent in medicine, education
and politics, and stem from the belief that science distinguishes data from theory. These and
other disciplines use systematic scientifi c testing for both recommendation and implementation
in practice ( Sherman, 2003 ). “ An evidence-based approach requires that the results of
rigorous evaluation be rationally integrated into decisions about interventions by policymakers
and practitioners alike ” ( Petrosino, 2000a, b, 635 ) .