The Security Week That Was: July 20, 2007

The Loss Prevention Research Council recently conducted a survey which queried major retailers about the problem of shrink. Read Hayes, LP researcher extraordinaire (and author of the article "10 Things Every LP Manager Should Know", ST&D magazine Feb. 2006), of course headed up the LP Research Council's study, which partly examined how some 100 major retailers compared themselves to their competitors. Research was done by the University of Florida's Survey Research Center. Not surprisingly, the study found there are some misperceptions. The top misperception, according to preliminary data released from the study, is that the problem of shrink is worse for your competitors than it is for your business.

We also were grabbed by the examination of video and shrink (the study was underwritten by Intellivid, so there's your video link), and noted that one of the points of data was that almost three quarters of respondents use digital CCTV systems for recording only. Being that this was a survey of "major retailers", and presumably that most of these retailers have active loss prevention and/or security departments, it's not surprising that some 20 percent actually monitor their video surveillance data. However, that's only data on what the "big retailers" are doing, so we threw a question onto our forums to ask whether about 20 percent of retailers do actually watch their cameras, or whether that number seemed high to them.

The answer was resoundingly that most video surveillance cameras are not being monitored, whether that's at a small shops or big retailers. The debate sparked up as to what sort of solutions could be applicable -- "dummy" cameras, more LP staff presence, monitoring cameras, more cameras... Enjoy the "shrink and cameras" discussion, and feel free to join the SIW forums today.

Sign Those Contracts
Ken Kirschenbaum offers commentary on Synnex v. ADT

All those of you who had been frantically going through your existing alarm contracts to make sure that they were signed by all parties can breathe a sigh of relief, as ADT emerged victorious from the Synnex case, in which one ADT representative had forgotten to sign a contract. Not to worry, said the court. Even though one signature was missing, the contract was still valid and was further validated by servicing of the contract by ADT. Having the contract valid, of course, was needed for ADT to employ the waiver of subrogation and the exculpatory clauses written into it. SIW "Legal Side" columnist Ken Kirschenbaum, Esq., offers commentary on this much-anticipated ruling.

In Other News
Security detail in action; 55 false alarms; Tijuana's surveillance

Cameras and cards may be good measures, but sometimes the best security is a protection officer who knows how to shoot. A perfect case in point was earlier this week when a man on the security detail of Colorado Governor Bill Ritter took down an armed intruder in the state capitol. ... Some towns just don't know how good they have it. A small Pennsylvania town, having been inundated with 55 (yes, 55!) false alarm calls, decided enough was enough and put in place a false alarm fine system. Admittedly, the fines aren't that bad; they're $10 for the first one. ... In what may have been our most curious story of the week, a Texas newspaper reported how Tijuana, Mexico, landed a $15.5 million municipal surveillance system (other cities can be envious of this, though probably aren't envious of Tijuana's crime and drug issues). The curious thing is where the money came from and who installed the system; nobody seems to be willing to say who did what. That may not be a bad thing; bribes to an unscrupulous tech in need of money could lead to corruption faster than you can say, "Yo quiero mas CCTV!" ... Registration deadlines are looming for our complimentary webinar next Thursday, July 26 at 1 p.m. EDT, which covers network video storage; Pivot3 is the sponsor.

Finally, a look at the most popular stories of the most recent week: