IAPSC issues updated best practice for detaining shoplifting suspects

Guidelines now cover the use of cameras for maintaining constant observation


The International Association of Professional Security Consultants (IAPSC) has issued an update of its best practice: "Detention of Shoplifting Suspects by Loss Prevention and Security Personnel (PDF-720KB)."

Charles Sennewald, CPP, CSC, CPO and John Christman, CPP, first developed the best practice, also known as the "6-steps," in the late 1970s. At the time, Sennewald was the director of security at Broadway Department Stores and Christman was vice president and director of security for Macy’s West.

The best practice first appeared in print in the 1992 book, "Shoplifting," written by Sennewald and Christman, and was quickly adopted by retailers across the U.S. It is now a part, in some variation, of virtually every retailer’s loss prevention/security policy regarding the apprehension and detention of shoplifters.

In 1999, the IAPSC officially adopted and issued the best practice, which includes rationale for each of the "6-steps." It now includes an update for the "step" of continual or constant observation and also covers the use of cameras as an aid for maintaining constant observation. Additionally, the best practice includes an addendum, which is an exception to the continuous surveillance step in regards to fitting room apprehensions.

Click here to read all of the current IAPSC Best Practices.