The Retail Security Network has announced the launch of its Pilot Phase. Twelve shopping centres are currently participating in the Pilot Phase which extends across the London area.
The organisers expect that other shopping centres/retail parks will join the Pilot Phase in the coming weeks before the Retail Security Network goes fully live in July; at that time the RSN will be open to all shopping centres and retail parks throughout, and immediately surrounding, the London area.
The Retail Security Network brings together shopping centres and retail parks within and immediately surrounding the M25 into a single online information-sharing system. Originally proposed in June 2014 following discussions among leading retail property management and security companies, it is hoped that the RSN will ultimately extend throughout the UK.
According to the White Paper published by the RSN in February of this year, the project will deliver a wide range of practical and applicable information to its Members: images of unknown Offenders caught on CCTV, novel MOs, police Alerts, top Offenders by Modus Operandi, news about latest crime and shop-theft trends, up-coming security-related events, experience-sharing, Best Practice resources, security-related product reviews, reference library etc.
Information from the RSN, which is supported by the Metropolitan Police’s Business Crime Hub, is delivered online through the RSN’s secure Members-only website, supported by automated weekly eNewsletters sent direct to all Members, and one-off ‘alerts’ for urgent and important information.
The White Paper identifies some specific benefits that the RSN will deliver:
• Identifying ID-Sought/unidentified mugshots and CCTV images.
• Reducing the impact of new Modus Operandi
• Delivering relevant security-related London news
• Delivering Police and other Alerts directly and virtually instantaneously to all Members
• Providing an always-accessible online Documents Library, including Best Practice Guides
• Information about security-related upcoming Events
• Email messaging
According to Philip Jones, Chair of the Security Committee of the British Council of Shopping Centres, the Retail Security Network is an idea whose time has, self-evidently, come.
“I moved over to the retail security industry relatively recently, from the banking industry, where sharing security-related information is very well established. It is clear that retail security professionals have a great deal to gain from sharing non-competitive security-related information among themselves. And I have not been surprised to find those views are shared by many others in retail management.
“At the beginning of March about 30 security managers from shopping centres across London met at Westfield London where the idea was ‘pitched’. The reaction was very supportive and now most of those managers are participating in the Pilot Phase,” Philip Jones commented.
The Retail Security Network is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee. Day to day management of the Network is currently outsourced to Littoralis Limited, the specialist supplier of information-sharing systems for crime reduction.
Shopping centres and retail parks participate in the Pilot Phase free of charge, and will pay an annual subscription – £499 – only when the scheme goes fully live. Shopping centres that join after that date will pay the same subscription charge, plus a one-time joining fee of £150.
The Retail Security Network expects that when the scheme goes fully live it will quickly be joined by the great majority of shopping centres and many of the retail parks in and around the M25. If the RSN continues to prove effective, it is hoped that it will provide the template for other regional networks, ultimately extending across the UK.
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