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FM Magazine

The Changing Face of Retail Security

Brendan Musgrove, managing director of G4S business Total Security Services (TSS), discusses the retail sector’s response to emerging security threats including an increase in reported incidents of abuse of frontline workers and losses caused by shoplifting – as well as his company’s recent acquisition by Allied Universal.

According to the British Retail Consortium Crime Survey Report 2022, retail crime cost the industry £1.5 billion in 2020/21, with a staggering 1,301 incidents of violent or abusive incidents every day.

The skills of the  traditional retail security officer need to evolve. Gone are the days where retail security  could operate on a reactive basis.

In order to respond to the worrying trends, the modern retail security officer should operate proactively and work smarter, using collaboration technologies and body worn surveillance. Given the increase in frontline violence, de-escalation of aggravated situations has become a strong focus.

What’s more, the officer needs to be supported by an intelligence function that is continuously reviewing crime trends, identifying repeat offenders, and sharing information proactively to support the frontline officers in the delivery of their role.

In addition, today’s retail security is about much more than the high street. As the explosion of e-commerce continued through the pandemic, security in the supply chain has risen in importance, with distribution centres and theft of goods in transit a focus. Consequently, any security provision should make equal consideration to both the supply chain and the high street.

TSS has historically delivered frontline security to a number of the UK’s leading high street retailers. Its acquisition by G4S Secure Solutions UK, an Allied Universal company, means it is able to evolve its services to further support customers.

The new entity combines TSS frontline retail security experience, G4S varied product portfolio and broad national and international coverage, making it an ideal combination for any retail organisation looking to address its  evolving threat profile.

TSS are excited about  what the acquisition means for our customers. We are already evolving the  product portfolio and look forward to providing a more intelligent approach to frontline security services. We are developing our intelligence offering ‘Crime hub,’ working in close collaboration with our customers.

The G4S product portfolio also provides great opportunities for our customers. We can now support retail outlets with the provision of canine security in particularly high-risk areas, provide nationwide mobile incident response for callouts at unsocial times, and even supply AI drive surveillance technology – our offering to the retail store has expanded greatly.

What’s more, we are now able to provide fully integrated security into the supply chain – from surveillance and monitoring of the distribution centre to the tracking and monitoring of goods in transit.

Finally, TSS customers will have access to the G4S Academy, which provides best in class networking, information sharing and thought leadership to those with security responsibility.

These are exciting times for TSS, our customers and anyone looking to address their retail security challenges.

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