THIS month’s meeting of the Joint Policing Committee (JPC) in Clare revealed a staggering 105% increase in thefts from shops in the county from 2021 to 2022.
The figure was revealed by Chief Superintendent Sean Colleran in his briefing to local politicians at the start of the month and covered the first four months of each year.
Gardai in Clare have also revealed that Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays are the most common days for thefts from shops and almost two thirds of all thefts from shops occur between 12 noon and 6 p.m.
In an effort to help shop owners take action against potential theft, they have issued advice on the types of shoplifters out there and how to identify them.
Opportunist: Could be anyone, unattended goods taken / little risk of getting caught.
Persistent: Regular thief, mixing purchased goods with stolen goods, could be a frequent customer.
Young people: usually engage in thefts in groups through peer pressure.
Substance Abusers: target high value goods to fund drug habits.
Professional: Target high value goods, take large quantities and nearly always work in groups. If well-known could be disguised.
Advice for different shops
Clothing Shops – consider increasing electronic tagging and hiring more staff for high risk periods.
Pharmacies – put high risk products further from exits and in full view of staff and consider posting warning signs on high risk merchandise to alert thieves that these items are subject to extra surveillance.
Off Licences – views of alcohol shelves and coolers should be clear and keep alcohol away from exits.
Security tips to help prevent theft
• Greet every customer that enters the store. This lets the customer know you are aware of their presence.
• Design the store lay out so customers must pass the register area and staff to exit the store. Never leave the register unlocked or unattended. Do not display merchandise near the store exits.
• Use mirrors to eliminate blind spots in corners that might hide shoplifters. Maintain adequate lighting in all areas of the store.
• Place small and or expensive items in locked cabinets or behind the counter. Dressing rooms should be watched at all times.
• Helping Hand – approach the suspicious person and ask if he / she is finding everything okay. Mention that you’ll be nearby should he / she need your help – make the shoplifter feel watched.
• Stay Focused – don’t allow customers to distract the cashier while another person is being checked out.
Night time security
• Link the electric lights to the intruder alarm so that when an out of hours activation occurs, the lights come on illuminating the interior and providing better images on the CCTV system.
• Store the CCTV recorder in a secure manner to prevent its easy removal.
• Ensure no large sums of money are kept overnight on the premises.
• Install an insurance rated safe and employ time locking mechanisms to alleviate the need for a key holder.