Liam Cross, MD of RTF Europe, says tech retailers need to get smarter with their in-store security

The problem with alarms and traditional security in tech retail stores

Liam Cross, MD of RTF Europe, says tech retailers need to get smarter with their in-store security in this opinion piece.

Over the last few years we’ve seen a number of “smash and grab” raids in a variety of stores.

During a six-month period in 2012, a gang of thieves went around London targeting electronics retailers and simply ripping fixtures apart to grab as many tech devices as they could, as quickly as possible.

Needless to say, adhesive units attached to alarmed systems were pretty ineffective. False alarms and instances where a customer has unwittingly set off an alarm means that staff can become quite desensitised to them. In situations where someone really is attempting to steal, alarms aren’t given the serious response they’re designed to attract.

The other issue with alarmed systems is that employers are reluctant to encourage staff to approach a thief – unless trained security is present or police respond in time these people will often get away.

With a mechanical-based unit that actually grips around the enclosure of a smartphone or tablet you have a more effective deterrent.

Being in a situation where a thief has to forcibly try and remove something, thereby drawing attention, is something most criminals will look to avoid. It’s false economy to look to make relatively small savings by not upgrading or purchasing the right security. Our own range of security starts from £12, and even our top-end equipment comes in an under three figures.

It’s also important to keep an eye on how thieves are operating and how security is advancing in order to combat new threats.

About the author

Liam Cross is MD of retail security specialist RTF Europe.

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