Published: 25 July, 2012
A new initiative in Glasgow is aiming to cut crime by sharing information
St Enoch Centre has become the first shopping centre in the west of Scotland to join the Retailers Against Crime (RAC) Community Initiative which will see all of its retailers receive up-to-the-minute information to help prevent and tackle crime in the city.
RAC was set up in 1997, after several retailers saw the potential to develop a national information-sharing scheme to detect and deter criminals impacting on their profitability. It launched with 47 stores on board and today operates in Scotland, Northern Ireland, London and the North West of England circulating information to over 2,000 contacts.
Information on crime and acts of violence in the workplace is submitted to RAC by members, analysed, and intelligence bulletins are produced featuring images of the most prolific suspects and circulated to members, crime partnerships and police throughout the UK.
One RAC member claims the initiative has helped it to achieve a 100 per cent success rate in identifying shoplifters, and in turn, led to a number of convictions. With the British Retail Consortium’s latest Crime Survey indicating a 31 per cent increase in crime in the last year, RAC is one of the organisations intent on bringing that figure down.
St Enoch Centre general manager, Susan Nicol, hopes that the new community membership will make Glasgow city centre a safer place to shop and socialise. "One of our top priorities at St Enoch is to create a safe shopping and working environment for our customers and staff – that is the reason why we decided to join the Retailers Against Crime Community Initiative," she says. "The latest Crime Survey issued by the British Retail Consortium states that crime in the sector cost UK retailers £1.4bn last year – that’s equivalent to 130,000 full-time jobs.
"As a popular city centre retail destination, it is essential that we take all necessary steps to help tackle this problem head on. We look forward to seeing the benefits of this new membership being rolled out across the city in due course."
"Our new RAC Community membership will enable us to work more closely with retailers at St Enoch on a day-to-day basis, facilitating communication and creating new and fruitful partnerships," adds Andrew Fielding, regional operations director at VSG, which is responsible for St Enoch Centre’s security. "It will also help to ensure that St. Enoch is a safe environment for people to shop in, which remains our key priority."
Part of RAC membership includes free training. Available to all members, the training covers the most active suspects and their methods of operation, and includes sections on credit card fraud and counterfeit notes. Real footage of thefts and frauds being committed are shown to give staff an insight into how they occur and regular area meetings are also undertaken to ensure stores are kept up to date.
"RAC shares information on local criminals and provides intelligence to its members about travelling teams throughout the UK," says Gemma Sellar, regional executive of Retailers Against Crime Scotland. "It is only through the intelligence provided by RAC that such individuals and teams can be detected and activities prevented.
"As one of Glasgow city centre’s key shopping destinations, St Enoch has taken a proactive step to deter losses in its stores and to identify those responsible for acts of crime in the retail sector."