Guest Editorial by Rod Guy, VP of Strategy, NICE Public Safety
A recent NRF (National Retail Federation) Study reveals that in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, retailers have experienced growing concerns related to organized retail crime (57%) and workplace violence (61%).
According to a separate BRC 2020 retail crime survey, retailers in the UK face similar challenges, reporting that crime-related losses and violent and abusive incidents are on the rise as well.
So how can retailers address these troubling trends? Improved collaboration with police and streamlined sharing of evidence, such as CCTV video, may hold the answer.
CCTV cameras are commonly found both within and around the perimeter of retail stores, and they can be both an effective deterrent and powerful investigative tool.
After all, cameras capture everything.
The challenge, as it turns out, is getting video out of the hands of the retail operators and into the hands of police investigators in a timely manner, after crimes occur.
Today, this is a painstaking effort that requires the officer to get in his car, make a trip to the retail location, wait while the video is located and retrieved, and then copied onto CDs.
Then the investigator must make the miles-long trek back to the office, usually to find that the video (due to its proprietary format) is not even able to be played, which involves more steps and waiting as the videos are sent out to specialists who transcode them to make them playable.
Now consider that for a large retail chain, this process is repeated many times, at many locations, every day.
One can see the magnitude of the challenge it presents for every investigation, from the smallest shoplifting offense to major criminal incidents.
The fact is – the need to regularly send officers to obtain the footage is a substantial and cumulative drain on law enforcement resources and contributes to time delays in investigations.
To break through this log jam, retailers and police departments are now employing innovative technology from NICE to collaborate more closely on investigations and streamline the sharing of CCTV video evidence.
With the NICE Investigate Digital Evidence Management Solution (DEMS), the entire process of requesting and sending CCTV video (between retail operators and police officers) can now be done electronically.
It works like this. Participating retailers register their cameras in the DEMS, which stores contact details for each participating retail location along with the geolocation of every CCTV camera.
Now, when a crime occurs, investigators back at the local police department can view locations of cameras on a map, and instantly send a message to the retailer requesting the relevant footage.
When the store security operator receives the request, they locate the footage and share it digitally via a secure link. The video is automatically virus-checked and transcoded by the DEMS.
The officer is immediately notified of the video’s presence in the associated digital case file. This approach condenses the CCTV transfer process from hours or days to a matter of minutes.
As of this writing, two major UK retailers have registered thousands of their CCTV cameras for over 3,500 stores in NICE Investigate, making their video more accessible to police as part of this pioneering initiative, which is being followed closely by police departments worldwide.
The trend, which started in the UK, is expected to gain momentum in the U.S. in coming months.
(In this Digital Transformation series, we explore the challenges law enforcement investigators face every day, and the many ways that NICE Investigate, one of the solutions in our Evidencentral cloud-based, open, end-to-end digital transformation platform, can help. Courtesy of NICE and YouTube. Posted on Jul 6, 2021.)
Well-known British health and beauty retailer and pharmacy chain Boots, the largest pharmacy health and beauty chain in the UK, is among the first retailers to join, along with a large UK supermarket chain.
The retailers can now easily share video with 15 UK police forces and organizations that are actively using the DEMS technology to manage digital evidence and conduct investigations.
One user of the technology, Patrick Holdaway, Superintendent at City of London Police and Lead for the National Business Crime Centre explained, “The addition of the NICE Investigate technology allows Boots to engage in the right level of data sharing with local police forces.”
Iona Blake, the Security and Incident Manager at Boots added, “For us, it’s all about how we can get better at reporting crimes. In addition to improving efficiency and saving time, this program has changed the dynamic of our relationship with the police.”
DEMS Initiatives Gaining Hold
Additionally, because DEMS simplifies the process of sharing CCTV video, it’s also easier for police departments to streamline their collection of video from CCTV cameras placed outside of retail establishments for other types of investigations too.
For example, suppose an assault is reported across the street from a retail establishment.
Knowing which retail-registered cameras are situated near the scene, investigating officers can request footage to review. This extends the benefits of digital transformation to support swifter justice and safety for the broader community.
Powerful digital transformation efforts such as these are already under consideration across many major cities around the world, supported by law enforcement agencies.
It’s only a matter of time before large US-based retail chains follow suit.
(Learn More. As a law enforcement leader, you’re under more pressure than ever coming from every possible direction – from politicians, citizens and media demanding greater transparency – to questions and complaints over police response and incident handling. The key to getting answers to questions lies in getting control of your data. NICE Investigate brings all of your data together in one place so you can get the operational insights and answers to questions fast. Courtesy of NICE and YouTube.)
About the Author
Rod Guy, has over 25 years of experience developing products and application solutions to help Public Safety agencies better protect and serve citizens and communities.
For the past 10 years, Rod has been working with Public Safety agencies to understand the challenges of managing digital evidence and to develop innovative solutions which improve the usability of digital data, while addressing the need for security, data integrity and cost effectiveness.
With over 3,000 customers and 30 years’ experience, NICE delivers end-to-end digital transformation, improved collaboration, efficiency and cost-savings to all types of public safety and criminal justice agencies, from emergency communications centers and police departments to prosecutors and courts.
The company’ Evidencentral platform (which includes NICE Inform, NICE Investigate, NICE Justice and E-Request) features an ecosystem of integrated technologies that bring data together to improve incident response, accelerate investigations, streamline evidence sharing and disclosure, and keep communities and citizens safer.
NICE Public Safety Selected as a Multiple- Award Finalist in 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Awards
American Security Today’s ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards program is today in its Sixth Year and continues to recognize the Outstanding Innovations of top firms and agencies in the Homeland Security and Public Safety fields.
The Annual ‘ASTORS’ Awards is the preeminent U.S. Homeland Security Awards Program highlighting the most cutting-edge and forward-thinking security solutions coming onto the market today, to ensure our readers have the information they need to stay ahead of the competition, and keep our Nation safe – one facility, street, and city at a time.
American Security Today is pleased to announce TSA Administrator David Pekoske, will join the organization as a featured speaker at the 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Presentation Luncheon, on November 17, 2021 at ISC East in New York City.
“On the heels of an unprecedented global pandemic, continued unrest in our cities and potentially catastrophic cyberattacks on our nations critical infrastructure, the focus of the 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Luncheon will be on the latest, state-of-the-art innovations that are driving investments in new public security and safety technologies and systems,” said AST Editorial and Managing Director Tammy Waitt.
“As a recognized expert in crisis management, strategic planning, innovation and aviation, surface transportation and maritime security, David Pekoske’s message highlighting his top priorities and challenges for the TSA based on his years of wide-ranging experience will be critical to our attendees internalizing the critical nature of these escalating challenges, and realizing innovative new approaches to meet them.”
The 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program is Proudly Sponsored by AMAROK, Fortior Solutions and SIMS Software, along with Returning Premier Sponsors ATI Systems, Attivo Networks, Automatic Systems, and Reed Exhibitions.
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The epic, transformative career of Bill Bratton, legendary police commissioner and police reformer, in Boston, Los Angeles, and New York When Bill Bratton became a Boston street cop after returning from serving in Vietnam, he was dismayed by the corrupt old guard, and it is fair to say the old guard was dismayed by him too.
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At ISC East 2021 you with the opportunity to interact with a broad array of security industry professionals.
ISC East works closely with other businesses in the security and public safety space to help bring together the Northeast’s largest security trade show each year.
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The traditional security marketplace has long been covered by a host of publications putting forward the old school basics to what is Today – a fast changing security landscape.
The traditional security marketplace has long been covered by a host of publications putting forward the old school basics to what is Today – a fast-changing security landscape.
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To learn more about the 2020 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Award Winners solutions, Check Out the 2020 ‘ASTORS’ CHAMPIONS Edition Fully Interactive Magazine – the Best Products of 2020 ‘A Year in Review’.
The Annual CHAMPIONS edition includes a review of the ‘ASTORS’ Award Winning products and programs, highlighting key details on many of the winning firms products and services, includes video interviews and more.
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From Physical Security (Access Control, Critical Infrastructure, Perimeter Protection and Video Surveillance Cameras and Video Management Systems), to IT Security (Cybersecurity, Encryption, Data Storage, Anti-Malware and Networking Security – Just to name a few), the 2020 ‘ASTORS’ CHAMPIONS EDITION has what you need to Detect, Delay, Respond to, and Mitigate today’s real-time threats in our constantly evolving security landscape.
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