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Loss Prevention Investigations; Should Training be Standardized?

Over the years, I have seen the role of a loss prevention investigator change dramatically. There are so many variances to the job description that to find a loss prevention investigator to support your needs of the client is becoming more and more difficult.
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All loss prevention investigators follow the same five steps to apprehend a shoplifter. However, due to all the liabilities associated with the role, the requirements of how to mitigate these risks have altered the duty to whether a loss prevention investigator should apprehend or deter. Some are being asked not to arrest, wear a uniform, and work with store associates to have the suspects ‘customer serviced’. This new approach to loss prevention is making it more and more difficult to find loss prevention skillsets.

When I interview for loss prevention positions, many of the candidates have loss prevention experience but no formal training or certification. Even at a provincial level, there doesn’t seem to be a training model on consensus or requirements.

We need to evaluate a standard, ensuring that all loss prevention investigators are properly trained. With such a highly liable roll and no standard of training begs the question if this should be a focus for the industry?

Posted in: Protective Services and Investigations

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Quarterback

Social media has been proven to be a great source of intelligence. Often the people posting content seem to underestimate the relevance and potential consequences. On November 25th, the following story was reported by ESPN:

Johnny Manziel has been replaced by Josh McCown as the starting quarterback for the Cleveland Browns, the team announced Tuesday. One week after being named the team’s starter, Manziel has been demoted to third-string quarterback for Monday night’s game against the Baltimore Ravens after social media posts surfaced this week showing Manziel allegedly partying last weekend in Texas during the team’s bye week.”

In this instance, Manziel’s actions were posted online and cost him not being able to play with the A team. Many times the consequences are more serious as social media investigations become mainstream. Quite often HR professionals conduct a high-level social media check as part of the recruitment process. Speaking to a recruitment manager at a fortune 500 company I learned that their process includes a criminal background check, credit history, reference checks and a social media investigation. This can be an automated investigation resulting in a clear report (footprint) delivered within 24 hours. If there is a desire for additional information, a footprint can be extended to social media surveillance. For a specified amount of time, the person of interest is followed on a defined number of social media sites. This search can also include past posts and an analysis of the information found. This can result in a comprehensive report potentially giving away a large amount of information.

Unfortunately Johnny Manziel did not read this blog or other related articles about the topic. The fact that people are warned does not seem to make a difference. The social media world continues to give away many clues about someone’s character and behaviours.

Posted in: Protective Services and Investigations

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