Canadian Retailer - Holiday 2016 - 37
television (CCTV). Traditionally, companies keep their location and usage
a closely guarded secret, the implication being that employees as well as
shoppers are being closely watched.
Yet O'Keefe says that companies that
show their employees their CCTV
system and how it works have better
engagement. Why? Because showing
such trust builds trust.
Engaging employees as part of a
company's loss prevention strategy
is one of many changes O'Keefe has
seen in the industry over the span
of his career. "Traditionally, security
was the main method of preventing
theft. Loss prevention, which just
started emerging in the 1980s, is
different than policing. Policing is
reactive whereas loss prevention is
proactive," he explains. "The biggest difference is that when I started
in loss prevention, it was a separate
department within corporate structures. Now it's integrated into the
business, a foundation of the business. Now most departments have a
loss prevention component. It's like
a shock absorber in a car; you don't
necessarily need it to operate but it
makes for a smoother ride."
Finding the right solution
Stephen O'Keefe recognized by his peers for a lifetime of excellence in loss prevention.
One of O'Keefe's driving passions is
to promote the concept of restorative
justice as a means of stemming the rising tide of shoplifting. It's a tool that,
he believes, can be part of the solution
to a very real problem in retail.
"We have three streams of justice in Canada. The first is criminal
prosecution, which is governed by
the Criminal Code of Canada. Then
there are civil remedies, like law
suits, which are governed by the Civil
Code in Quebec and Common Law in
the remainder of Canada. Then there
is restorative justice, the oldest form.
Think about a group of people sitting in a circle deciding how to solve
a problem in a society without prisons," explains O'Keefe.
Restorative justice emphasizes the
wrong done to a person as well as
the wrong done to the community. It
THE LOSS PREVENTION ISSUE | CANADIAN RETAILER