Canadian Retailer - Holiday 2016 - 38
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
recognizes that the crime is both a violation of
relationships between specific people and an offence against the community. Restorative justice
requires the wrongdoers recognize the harm
they have caused, accept the responsibility of
their actions, and make amends to victims and
"Restorative justice is designed to change the
behaviour of first-time offenders. The intent is
to personalize a company for the offender so
they see that they are stealing from people and
not some faceless entity, because-naturally-
people make up a company. " O'Keefe explains.
Restorative justice has proven to work, too.
According to O'Keefe, statistics show that less
than 5 per cent of those treated with restorative
justice measures will commit another offense in
the future. As a result, he's been campaigning
to make restorative justice a mainstream way
of dealing with shoplifting in Canada. And besides, he often points out that there are threats
to companies that are a lot greater in scope.
Recognizing the real threats
O'Keefe was one of the earliest and most
vocal voices to note that organized crime is
Stephen O'Keefe speaking at RCC's 2016 Loss Prevention Conference.
a more systemic threat to the retail industry
than shoplifting or internal theft. He character- "Restorative justice is designed to change the behaviour
izes credit card fraud and the counterfeiting of of first-time offenders. The intent is to personalize a
goods as two of the greatest threats to profitcompany for the offender so they see that they are stealability, and has worked diligently to combat
ing from people and not some faceless entity, because-
each on a legislative level.
"The industry recognized that the Privacy naturally-people make up a company."
Act allowed criminals to hide and become an- STEPHEN O'KEEFE
onymous," he reflects. "We collectively lobbied
the Privacy Commissioner numerous times over many years to work with people than against them. It's an apchange PIPEDA to allow organizations to share information on proach that has caught the attention of many
offenders. It allows businesses to collaborate in the fight against within the retail and LP industries. Combining
organized crime, and it's been an effective change."
these characteristics with a diverse and accomDespite what has already been a tremendously successful plished career makes O'Keefe the perfect recipicareer, O'Keefe is not one to rest on his laurels. He is a highly ent for RCC's Loss Prevention Lifetime Achievesought after consultant and serves as a senior advisor to RCC ment Award, and a favourite among colleagues.
in loss prevention, risk management and regulatory affairs. He's
"Throughout his career, Stephen has been a
going back to school, doubling in psychology and sociology, in passionate advocate for retailers and a visionan attempt to explain what drives people to steal. And O'Keefe's ary leader, dedicated to fighting fraud in the remost current project is a website he's creating, called 'Bottom tail industry. I can think of no one more deservLine Matters', which focuses on practical loss prevention tips ing of this special honour." said Rita Estwick,
and strategies for small and independent retailers.
Director of Security Strategy at Canada Post
"It's focused on mom-and-pop stores that can't afford to hire and the recipient of last year's Loss Prevention
consultants or have a loss prevention department working for Lifetime Achievement Award.
them. It will include a lot of practical applications that people
Thirty-odd years ago, Tinseltown never came
can follow for loss prevention, such as how to treat people right calling an aspiring young actor in Toronto. And
and how to coach people."
Canada's retail industry, as well as scores of
It's this attitudinal approach to all things loss prevention that loss prevention professionals, is certainly the
makes O'Keefe stand out among most of his peers, preferring to better for it.
CANADIAN RETAILER | The Loss Prevention Issue