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Study into retail loss prevention is announced

by Andy Clutton

Concept Smoke Screen is partnering with criminologists from the University of Lincoln to assess the impact of its systems on retail loss prevention and on crime in surrounding communities.

The new partnership was born out of Concept’s Connected campaign, which urges a rethink of the private security industry’s approach to crime prevention. A significant part of the Connected project focuses on collaboration between academia and industry to address structural-level causes of crime and approaches to tackling them.

This initial study, with the Criminology team of the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Lincoln, will also act as a pilot for further investigation into the way that security systems manufacturers and security users can work cooperatively with researchers to share data, providing insights into criminal trends and patterns which have not traditionally been available to either group.

“We’re hugely excited about this new partnership and the insights it will provide for ourselves and our clients,” Concept MD Matt Gilmartin said. “We see it as both extremely valuable in itself, and as the first step in an ongoing collaboration with the University of Lincoln team. Data is absolutely critical to intelligent crime prevention planning, and being able to assess that data in a wider, holistic context will allow us to make smarter choices about how and where our systems are deployed. And we’ll also be better able to advise Smoke Screen users about the broader social impact of these sorts of loss prevention measures.”

Dr Nick Cowen will lead the quantitative data team on the project: “By pooling data from across multiple sites and multiple retailers, we expect to be able to produce precise and up-to-date estimates about the impact of loss prevention strategies, as well as where, when and how the application of these strategies is likely to be most effective,” he said.

“Additionally, because we will be establishing the broader social impact of effective loss prevention on the public’s experience of crime and disorder, we anticipate that this will help Concept’s clients substantiate and document their contributions to wider public values according to Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance criteria.”

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