Shop stealing apprehensions Introduction This document outlines the procedure and sets the standards for conducting shop stealing apprehensions within SGM clients premisses These standards apply when customers are observed committing unlawful acts against SGM clients, to recover stolen merchandise. The term shop stealing is used to describe shop theft, deception, fraud, price swapping, walk-up refunds in SGM clients. A shop stealing apprehension in Kmart may only be made by a Contract Loss Prevention officer or a member of the SGM clients Loss Prevention Team. An apprehension may be necessary when:
This document outlines the procedure and sets the standards for conducting shop stealing apprehensions within SGM clients premisses These standards apply when customers are observed committing unlawful acts against SGM clients, to recover stolen merchandise. The term shop stealing is used to describe shop theft, deception, fraud, price swapping, walk-up refunds in SGM clients. A shop stealing apprehension in Kmart may only be made by a Contract Loss Prevention officer or a member of the SGM clients Loss Prevention Team. An apprehension may be necessary when:
- The suspect cannot be deterred from stealing by providing customer service.
- The alleged offender is a recidivist or returning offender to SGM clients stores.
- The goods being stolen cannot be recovered by any other means.
The outlined procedures seek to:
- Ensure that all apprehensions conducted meet the relevant states criminal proofs required for prosecution.
- Minimise safety issues when conducting apprehensions.
Security Guards Melbourne Apprehension policy SGM is committed to conducting all of its business with honesty and integrity and entrusts its security guards to protect the clients assets and reputation. SGM employs covert operatives where required to conduct covert activities. The coverts work in pairs at all times and are trained to apprehend offenders. Team members from Loss Prevention are also authorised to apprehend offenders. Safety is critical which must always be taken into consideration when performing an apprehension. When making a decision to apprehend the following must be considered
- Safety of them selves
- Safety of customers
- Safety of the Suspect
- Safety of Clients team members.
Breaching the policy Security Guards Melbourne treats breaches of procedure seriously If you breach the Apprehension policy, the breach will be investigated. If it is determined that a breach has occurred, Security Guards Melbourne will instigate disciplinary proceedings that may result in termination of employment. Security Guards Melbourne apprehension proofs The below standards must be adhered to at all times when performing apprehensions in clients stores. Approach The offender must be seen to approach the merchandise or fixture. Selection The offender must be seen to select the merchandise from the display or shelf. Concealment The offender must be seen to conceal the merchandise. The person making the apprehension must be totally confident of the area of concealment i.e. in a bag on in the offender’s left trouser pocket. Responsibility for an apprehension cannot be passed from one to another. For large items just retaining possession of the item is considered concealment. Continuity At all times a clear unobstructed sightline of the offender must be maintained. Continual observations must take place of the selection, concealment and exit past the last point of payment. Exit Once the offender has passed the last point of sale and exited the threshold of the Clients store they may be apprehended.
Conducting an apprehension At all times two people are to be present when approaching and conducting an apprehension. Apprehensions are to be conducted in a safe manner, where possible the approach should be from the suspects front, not encroach on the offenders personal space and use the following phrase or similar when inviting then offender back to the office. “My name is (+++ ) I am from Security Guards Melbourne I work for this store as Loss prevention security. You have merchandise in your possession that has not been paid for, please come back to the store with us” If asked you should describe your observations to the offender, however this should take place back in the private office or area provided by the store. If there are several persons involved in the incident, only apprehend the offenders that have either selected, concealed or left the store with the goods. Persons that have been merely with the offender at the time of the theft must not be apprehended. If the offender refuses to cooperate If the suspect refuses to comply with your request the apprehending person must not:
- Threaten the offender.
- Physically intimidate the offender.
- Chase or physically detain the offender.
If the offender continues to refuse to cooperate, do not create an unsafe situation by physically attempting to force the offender to return to the store. Make every effort to retain possession of the stock by VERBALLY asking the offender to return the merchandise. Contact the police and outline the details of the incident and that the suspect is refusing to return with you. If safe to do so continue to follow, monitor the offender until police attendance. The offender must not be approached and a second attempt to apprehend made. On police arrival the situation is to be explained and then follow police direction.
If the suspect is aggressive or violent If an offender becomes aggressive and physical and attacks or attempts to attack the apprehending person then all possible attempts must be made to remove themselves from the apprehension and let the offender leave uninterrupted. Take photo of offender if safe to do so. Use of recording devices are recommended if safe to do so.As soon as possible contact the police on 000. Reporting a safety incident In all incidents of threats or violence the involved person must make a report to the line or duty manager who will then be required to complete an incident report form. Escorting an offender back to the store After apprehending the suspect they will need to return to the store to the nominated area or office. The most direct, safe route must be used through the store that minimises customer involvement. At all times both apprehending people must:
- Be present to escort the offender back to the office.
- One to be in front of the offender and one behind.
- The suspect is not to be pushed or forced in any way.
- Close observation is to be maintained to prevent the discarding of stolen merchandise.
Suspect searches At no time must any search be performed on a person or bag(s). Processing an apprehension After conducting the apprehension and have returned to the office the conversation must be kept to a minimum. The only conversation is to obtain the offenders details (name, DOB, address to complete the apprehension form) and to ask the offender to remove all items that they have removed from the store without paying for. If the suspect becomes violent or attempts to leave forcefully, move away and allow them to leave without incident. Contact the police and inform them of what has occurred.
Witness If the covert feels that a gender balance needs to be addressed the duty manager is to be contacted and assistance sought. Police involvement Discretion may be used when deciding to call the police if:
- The value of the goods is below $30.
- The offender is ill or elderly.
- The offender is below the age of criminal responsibility.
When not calling the police a voluntary statement form is to be used and signed by the offender before leaving. The police must always be called if:
- The offender is responsible for a series of offences against the same client.
- Violence was used or threats made.
- The apprehended is a client team member / staff.
- The offender refuses to cooperate with providing details etc.
- The offender is a juvenile (under 18) and a parent cannot be contacted to collect.
- The apprehension amount is over $30.
Processing a juvenile When the offender apprehended is a juvenile (under 18) and the value of the goods is low, the covert may contact the offender’s parents or legal guardian to come and collect them. If there is no one available to collect them then the police are to be called to process the offender. Under no circumstances is a juvenile offender to be released on their own. Photographs At no time must a photo of the offender be taken unless safe to do so.CCTV Only recordings requested by attending police of an incident may be made using the stores CCTV system by the covert operatives.
Property recovered The term property relates to:
- Merchandise belonging to the client
- Any Client assets
- Any article item removed by the offender
- Stolen credit cards
In most cases the police will only need a register docket outlining the cost of the stolen merchandise and a photo of the goods. However if the police request they are to be provided with the original merchandise. All details of goods taken by the police are to be recorded on the apprehension form and signed by the removing police officer. Duty of care All apprehended offenders are to be treated correctly and all reasonable steps made to ensure the safety and wellbeing of an offender. If a offender requests the use of the toilet and they are unable to wait until the arrival of police two people, one must be of the same gender must accompany them. The toilet cubical is to be searched in the presence of the offender to ensure merchandise has not been deposed of. If a suspect attempt to take any medication the apprehending person(s) must attempt establish what has been taken. Contact a first aid client team member for assistance. If necessary the ambulance service is to be called and the police called and updated of the situation.