All of the transaction data can be connected with the video feed of the transaction, and is stored. This also means it can be retrieved later, if a store manager needs to investigate a discrepancy, even months after it occurred. This provides evidence, should this be needed for conviction of stealing or fraud. It can also be called upon immediately if there are disputes at the checkout.
Outside the store, cameras can be programmed to send an alert if a trolley is being pushed in the wrong direction, or outside a certain predefined ‘zone’. This prevents theft of trollies (themselves an inventory asset), which may also have goods in them. Useful smart features on many Hikvision cameras can also be used to detect loitering behavior, which can give a security manager the heads up of a potential problem.
Loss can also be felt when an accident occurs – for example in a warehouse fire. This, of course, can cause more serious threats to personal safety too. The use of a smart thermal camera (for example Hikvision Thermal Bi-Spectrum Turret DS-2TD1217/V1 series) can send an alert when temperature gets above a certain predefined level. This means that fires can be detected before they actually break out.
All of these methods of monitoring a scenario, and providing the means to take preventative action, need to be brought together to be effective. This is where a Video Management System comes in. A good VMS (like Hikvision’s HikCentral) manages all of the information being sent by cameras, alarms, other devices and software in one place. This gives operators the power to see what’s going on in the store, and react with proper information to any potential threat. The system can also store the information in a way that makes it easy to search for future retrieval.
With the combined intelligence of a number of technologies, security guards can monitor suspicious activity much more easily, using preprogrammed alerts to flag potential issues. This means it is easier for them to catch both thieves and fraudsters. The ability to cross-reference data, and the fact that cameras like Hikvision Acusense series are designed to minimize false alarms outside, mean security guards are not sent on ‘wild goose chases’ and are able to focus on real issues.
When loss hits a retailer’s bottom line, they turn to more innovative solutions to hit back. CCTV cameras are just the beginning – the full technology arsenal at their disposal now consists of EAS, alarms, smart features, data overlays, and more. But the real power comes in the integration of these technologies, making the security manager a force to be reckoned with in the fight against the most common causes of retail shrinkage.
1 Sensormatic Global Shrink Index
2 “Retail Security in Europe – Going beyond shrinkage”, Crime and Tech and Univerita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore.