LP Magazine Europe Winter 2017-2018

 

Cross-Border Co-operation

 

There’s an old Irish Proverb that says, “You can’t plough a field by just turning it over in your mind.” Rather like the Nike swoosh logo and strapline “Just Do It,” meaning that you have to get things done rather than simply talking about getting things done, this goes to the heart of the ORIS Forums philosophy. After all, when all is said and done in life, there is more said than done.

ORIS Forums was founded on the basis of action first. Eleven years ago there were—and still are—plenty of “talking shops” for retailers to air their grievances about Police responses, sentencing of shop thieves, and so forth, but very little was being achieved in a positive way to “get things done.”

ORIS Forums, which is a division of the ORIS group of companies that secured Vendor of the Year 2017 at the Retail Risk Awards in Leicester in October, is all about collaboration and engagement with the sole purpose of getting things done. It is therefore fitting that Ireland, the home of the proverb that started this article, is the subject of ORIS Forums’ latest round of engagement.

Law enforcement in a pre-Brexit era in Ireland has proved a challenging issue with the free movement of people across a non-physical border between the north and south of Ireland. This is also because of the equally free movement of travelling organised retail gangs and their stolen or counterfeit goods.

The border between Europe and the UK is the Irish border, and it has become a major bargaining chip and one of the first stumbling blocks of the preliminary talks between Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, and David Davis, the UK’s Brexit Secretary. On one point they are agreed—no one wants a physical border between the two territories because of its symbolic representation of past divisions in Ireland when the British Army and then the Royal Ulster Constabulary manned checkpoints to prevent paramilitary groups raging cross-border turf wars.

But while the UK wants to maintain free trade between Northern Ireland and the Republic—which represents the closest border between the UK and Europe—there has to be some form of agreement on how to control and monitor security and trade. It is understood that the EU is in favour of the island of Ireland as a whole remaining members of the EU in order to remove part of this issue, but there is little political will in Northern Ireland for that happening because of opposition from the Democratic Unionist Party, one of the main parties to power sharing in Stormont and the organisation holding Theresa May’s flimsy Parliamentary majority in place.

Whatever happens, the ORIS Irish Retail Loss Prevention Forum is maintaining its activities to prevent organised retail crime in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland (ROI). One of the initiatives being looked at by the forum is holding persistent shop thieves to account.

In Northern Ireland, the Belfast Retail Crimewatch Scheme has worked with the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) on an initiative to thwart persistent shop thieves. If they continue to offend after being issued with a banning notice, they will see the charge change to one of burglary because they are in breach of the order and committing trespass. So far, one offender has served a two-month custodial sentence in Belfast for burglary as part of this trial, which is being closely watched by the Irish Forum and the Garda in the ROI.

The Irish Forum has now asked for a meeting with Assistant Commissioner Pat Leahy, the data commissioner and the director of public prosecutions (DPP), to discuss adoption of a similar scheme in the ROI. The forum is working closely with the Garda Síochána to help bring all parties together to make this happen in the ROI.

This is an example of cross-border co-operation that could work pre and post-Brexit without the need for a hard border between the two territories. It is also further proof that talking is one approach; ploughing on is another.

 

Whatever happens, the ORIS Irish Retail Loss Prevention Forum is maintaining its activities to prevent organised retail crime in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. One of the initiatives being looked at by the forum is holding persistent shop thieves to account.

LP Magazine Europe Fall 2017

 

Oldest Forum Inspires the Youngest as Blitzes Cross the Irish Sea

 

Inspired by the work of the Fashion Forum (ORIS Forums’ longest-established retail loss prevention forum), the Irish Retail Loss Prevention Forum (the youngest of the nine forums) adopted a blitz programme whereby Police and retailers work together as part of concerted days of action to reduce business crime.

In Ireland, An Garda Síochána are members of the Irish Forum with the official blessing of Chief Superintendent Patrick Leahy, the assistant commissioner for the Garda’s Dublin Metropolitan Region (DMR). Officials at the DMR, which is working with the Irish Forum to reduce store crime by 5 per cent, said the initiative has been a major success.

The initiative targeted prolific shop thieves and those with outstanding arrest warrants at their homes and in and around shopping centres. Action was also taken at the city’s major retail parks—Dundrum, Blanchardstown, St. Stephen’s Green, the Square Shopping Centre, the ILAC, and the Pavillions—over a period of three weeks during June and July. In one of the direct action initiatives, eighteen people were arrested, and five cars allegedly linked to serious organised crime gangs were seized.

Back in the UK, the Fashion Forum has continued its blitz activities, with five successful events taking place so far during 2017.

The idea behind this initiative is for retailers to join forces with Police, business crime reduction partnerships, town centre management bodies, the National Business Crime Solution, and business improvement districts in hotspot town centre areas for a “blitz” day aimed at disrupting shoplifters.

 

Training

ORIS Forums has built stronger relationships with Greater Manchester Police (GMP), which also provided essential training for more than fifty forum members on evidence gathering, child sexual exploitation (CSE), human slavery, credit card fraud, and illegal drug use—in particular Spice, the once “legal” high particularly prevalent in the northwest.

The training, which took place in Manchester, attracted more than fifty store staff from more than a dozen retailers. The training was offered by Sergeant Joanne Shaw who works in the city centre as a business liaison officer with close links to retail and the hospitality sectors.

The feedback was positive, including comments from Tina Russell, profit protection manager for New Look in Manchester who said, “The session was great, very informative, and Joanne was approachable, knowledgeable, and patient. She answered all of our questions and ensured that we were ready to move on to the next section. The content was interesting and shocking in places, which is a good thing as it makes people take notice and remember what was covered.

“Having a chance to network with the other retailers was also very important to us. I would welcome the opportunity to share local information, latest trends, et cetera, as well as to learn techniques used for fraud/theft and how to counteract them.”

Fashion Forum chair Colin Culleton said, “Previously GMP had received negative feedback from the Fashion Forum because of poor response rates in the city centre. Such forum initiatives are seen as a positive step in renewing relationships between the Police and the business community.”

 

ORIS Forums has built stronger relationships with Greater Manchester Police, which also provided essential training for more than fifty forum members on evidence gathering, child sexual exploitation, human slavery, credit card fraud, and illegal drug use.

LP Magazine Europe Summer 2017

 

Omni-channel Forum Seeks to Take Serious Cases Straight to CPS

 

The ORIS Omni-channel Forum is embarking upon an ambitious lobbying project that could result in a change in the law to allow businesses to bring their own prosecution directly to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). If successful, the approach would transform the way cases are investigated and prosecuted and would reduce Police involvement in arrests and issuing warrants if the CPS believes there is strong enough evidence for a successful case against organised retail criminals.

The evidence and intelligence would be gathered by the affected business and sent to the CPS to take the matter further. This would allow the UK’s forty-three different Police forces to focus upon other priority cases in the current atmosphere of adversity cuts to law enforcement budgets.

Russell Mannix, vice chair of the Omni-channel Forum and head of LP for UK Mail, is seeking to arrange a meeting with the CPS to discuss the approach. “At present we have what can only be described as an intermittent service from the Police, which is, as a result of budget cuts, lacking a proper service provision.”

He said there is also a problem getting often-complex cases to attract the interest of the Police when they, through no fault of their own, have other cases to deal with and do not see or understand the significance of the evidence or the nature of the scam.

There is also the problem of jurisdiction. As with many complex fraud scams, because the offence takes place on the Internet, it is hard to make local forces understand the implications of the crime, which occurs not only cross border, but also in the ether.

Police forces today have to deal with crime occurring within their boundaries, and often—as is the experience of many national retail businesses—forces do not exchange or share information with neighbouring constabularies, or their IT systems are incompatible.

“There is a precedent for this—the Royal Mail, a hangover from when it was a Crown service, that allows it by law to bring its own prosecutions to the CPS. Other businesses would be interested in this model in cases that involve cross-border activity or Internet scams involving high-value frauds where the evidence provided by the business was compelling,” said Russell.

This would not involve every offence, but would focus on the patterns of cross-jurisdictional activity. It would be in the interest of the business to make sure that the evidence was thorough enough to take to the CPS, which would make the decision. They could then instruct the Police to issue a warrant within thirty days.

Action Fraud is currently the only conduit to report fraud, and there is concern that without the ability to bulk report, the process is too long and time consuming and the service, operated by City of London Police, cannot action all cases or report back to victims in the majority of incidences.

“Without this kind of approach, the situation is likely to get worse as Internet fraud and cyber-crime becomes more sophisticated,” said Russell.

The UK Government pledged to make cyber-crime a priority, but there is fear from businesses that without the resources or correct approach, the promise will be seen as empty political rhetoric. This could require a move from an accusatorial to an inquisitorial model of justice—intelligent and evidence-led by the CPS, which would inform actions or next steps. This streamlines the approach and keeps Police involvement to a minimum.

Traditionally, crimes are reported to Police, and they take the case to the CPS, but the new approach would subvert the process and take less time. The Omni-channel Forum, which is comprised of some of the biggest online retailers and supply chain organisations, has written to the CPS to request a meeting.

 

If successful, the approach would transform the way cases are investigated and prosecuted and would reduce Police involvement in arrests and issuing warrants if the CPS believes there is strong enough evidence for a successful case against organised retail criminals.

LP Magazine Europe Spring 2017

Responsible Risk, Ethical Trading, and Sustainable Business

 

When Google first came to prominence, it had a corporate mantra—do no evil. This simply meant that wherever it operated in the world—both in the real and digital spaces—it must not negatively impact those who make use of the global search engine. Lofty intentions for a super brand, but aspirationally, it has provided food for thought for a number of major corporations in recent years.

In 2016, ORIS Forums launched its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Forum to bring together experts whose jobs are to make sure their businesses are doing no evil and in fact are doing all the right things when it comes to the day-to-day running of their enterprises. Members of the CSR Forum include Superdrug (A.S. Watson), Canary Wharf Group, GAP, JD Sports, Matalan, Superdry, and Jack Wills. It is set to grow during 2017 as more businesses look to sign up.

A business has to make a profit to be sustainable. But CSR goes way beyond the P&L sheet to drill down into the business’s DNA to find out what it is about and more importantly that it makes money without negatively impacting its employees, customers, and suppliers wherever they are in the world. For example, many products in retail supply chains are globally sourced. It is the retailer’s responsibility to ensure that it manages the risks and has carried out due diligence on its suppliers to make sure that working conditions are acceptable and child labour is not employed. Fast fashion is one sector where this example is a real concern. In the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh, almost 400 people lost their lives when an over-crowded and poorly constructed textile factory collapsed onto the workforce. For the Western companies whose subcontractors were producing garments in the factory, the brand damage was immense despite the swift offer of compensation for the disaster, which included long-term payments for orphaned children.

The CSR Forum explores issues such as overseas subcontracting as well as sustainable practices including a company’s carbon footprint reduction. Managing director of ORIS Forums Louise Kadege said, “What we have learned over the years is that risk happens everywhere. Just getting up and going to work in the morning involves risk, which is why ORIS Forums has moved to more discipline-focused forums to complement the forums that target risk sectors.

“How businesses manage those risks is often different, but our members are always willing to share and learn from one another, even if they are competitors in the commercial world. CSR is one such example. It is a department in a business (like LP) that touches every other function including finance, operations, legal, human resources (HR), and property. It ensures that there are common goals and objectives in the behaviour of the brand that it represents.

“This is not a ‘nice-to-have’ but a real recruitment poster because it represents a lot of positive messages including the fact that it is an ethical business. Furthermore, it expects certain standards of its suppliers that mirror its own. This is also a strong message for shareholders and would-be investors, which can add to the bottom line of the business as part of a virtuous circle.”

HR Forum 2017

Similarly, ORIS Forums is looking to launch an HR Forum during 2017. This is appealing to retail businesses that want to explore broader risks aligned with LP including recruitment and retention policies, investigation protocols, and data protection. However, it is also looking at broader HR strategies. Many HR managers, for example, look after issues surrounding fleet cars because to the HMRC they represent a benefit in kind (BIK) on the payroll. Here HR overlaps with the world of health and safety because of the grey area surrounding grey fleet—the use of an employee’s own car for business purposes—and the essential checks that need to be carried out to abide by the law, including insurance, licence checking, and penalty points, to name but a few.

Kadege added, “HR is a real opportunity for managers in this space to share some best practice and look at issues like training and retaining good staff, for example. We found with the Omni-channel Forum that bringing both the retailers and carriers together to share problems and issues is a really helpful way to resolve differences and understand each other’s viewpoints. Getting HR people to share their wisdom with health and safety and LP personnel highlights many of the risk synergies and starts to break down many of the barriers that hold businesses back in their day-to-day work.”

Contact Kadege at louise.kadege@orisforums.co.uk to learn more about the CSR or HR forums.

 

CSR goes way beyond the P&L sheet to drill down into the business’s DNA to find out what it is about and more importantly that it makes money without negatively impacting its employees, customers, and suppliers wherever they are in the world.

Action speaks louder than words at ORIS Forums

There is an old adage: ‘When all is said and done, there is more said than done.’ This is the antithesis of the driving mantra behind ORIS Forums since the earliest days. When the ORIS Retail Loss Prevention Fashion Forum – the first of what are now 11 sector, function and territory-specific Forums – set out its stall in February 2006, it made the pledge that as a collaborative body it would be action led and not ‘another talking shop.’

 

And 2015 has proved to be another year of action for ORIS Forums. The Fashion Forum which has extensively lobbied bodies as diverse at the Police Service of Northern Ireland, the Metropolitan Police, the Sentencing Council, The Magistrates Association and Ebay, to name but a few, has forged closer relationships with the National Association of Business Crime Partnerships and has targeted two specific cities where members’ shrink levels have been high.

 

At a Fashion Forum meeting in October 2014, members reported that Cardiff and Liverpool were recording higher loss rates than any other comparable cities, figures that prompted action in the form of establishing meetings with the Police and crime partnerships. In May 2015, chair and vice chair Colin Culleton and Tim Edwards held a meeting with the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce Crime Reduction manager Tony Jopson and Supt Jenny Sims of Merseyside Police who has a task force concentrating on business crime.

 

The outcome of the meeting was a pledge by all parties to make city centre crime public enemy number one and for Forum members to monitor stock loss in their stores and report back on improvements or deterioration. The Police were to take crime ‘feeds’ from the Chamber and to look at a temporary addition to office resource in some of the city’s main shopping areas.

 

In late May, members of Cardiff Business Safe attended the Fashion Forum meeting held in Cardiff to hear evidence of targeted theft against stores. Again, all parties agreed to work together on joint solutions.

 

Fashion Forum Chair Colin Culleton said: “I joined the Forum because I know my business benefits from having a network of like-minded professionals who have to answer difficult questions when loss figures in certain parts of the country are higher than they should be. Together, we look for answers to the questions and solutions that will help our respective businesses and those centres as a whole. “I feel confident that if we can deliver the agreed actions and sustain the focus on these cities, then both opportunist and organised retail crime will reduce”

 

Ireland

Lobbying has also been central to activity for the Irish Loss Prevention Forum which has achieved what no other business organisation has yet been able to do – extract an understanding from the Data Commissioner about data sharing.

 

Although the Data Protection legislation is a European directive, the interpretation in Ireland is that it is too strict in that it is seen to actively prevent retailers from sharing images of persistent store thieves – those known to them and the Gardi.

 

The meeting at the Data Commissioners Office in Portarlington near Dublin provided the Forum with the understanding that such data sharing can be permissible if managed with the Gardi and in compliance with the caveats contained in the Data Protection Act.
A subsequent meeting has been held with the Gardi and the Forum is now involved in drawing up a strategy document to be shared with the Garda’s Coordination and Tasking Unit (CTU).

 

Also in Ireland, the chair of the Forum Noel Hennessy, head of business controls at Arnotts, has written to the Ministry of Justice asking for the proposed new powers and sentencing for persistent burglars to be extended to commercial and retail properties because of the known shop thieves who are arrested, bailed and back in the stores stealing straight after leaving court.

 

Further action will be taken with regard to this matter as the Forum is now replying to a response from the Minister’s office that suggests retail burglary should not be afforded the additional sanctions.

 

Noel Hennessy said this week: “This is still a work in progress, but action does speak louder than words and whereas it is great to share information and collaborate, there needs to be a stronger voice for retail that is backed by deeds that support our cause and protect our people, property and profits. At present, there is a perception that the law affords better protection for those who break it, rather than those who try and uphold it.

Because all that GLIT- ters is not sold

Online and Mail Order and Logistics and Supply Chain Forums come together to fight ‘final mile fraud’ for the first time

Greater collaboration between online retailers and the parcel courier community would help reduce fraud and incidents of GLIT (Goods Lost in Transit)

 

This was the conclusion of two of ORIS’ Forums – Online and Mail Order and Logistics and Supply Chain – coming together for the first time to thrash out common objectives to fight ‘final mile’ fraud.

 

The meeting in Northampton on 12th February 2015 focussed upon common ground between online retailers and the parcel companies, as well as where there existed a divergence of opinion.

 

The meeting heard that problems often arise through a cost-driven culture where investment in safe and secure delivery is not always a driver, and environments where GLIT collusion and corruption could thrive.

 

Discussion centred around diverse subjects including retailers needing to maintain low courier costs, but desiring more secure delivery of goods and the prominence of corrupt delivery drivers, issues where both sides acknowledged that more could be done to tighten procedures and mitigate losses.

 

Both sides accepted that there needs to be a cultural shift from detection and arrest to prevention.

 

The meeting included examples of best practice including some carrier drivers being incentivised to report suspicious deliveries and prevent fraud, and a scheme whereby retailers pay a percentage of sales to the parcel companies so that they are able to employ an analyst to further reduce crime.

 

Other examples include lessons learned from ‘Shock Log’ technology used by one carrier, where information on where and how damages were occurring in the supply chain was identified and collated. The non-reporting of breakages at the time of occurrence, remains a key issue with most carriers.

 

Challenges

Challenges discussed include a trend towards tighter delivery windows – from next day, to same day shipment – and the vetting of delivery drivers because CRB checking is arbitrary in an industry that is unregulated.

 

In addition each parcel courier provides a different service based on price and it is therefore difficult to implement the same standard across the board.

 

There was also discussion around how head office carrier contacts could better disseminate information to area/depot manager, and the need for Claims and Fraud to be embedded into Carrier Operational Field team culture more effectively.

 

There is also a disconnect between the LP function and the carrier negotiations as most heads of LP were not part of the contractual discussions to ensure security clauses and incentives are included. There was also discussion around the table regarding the need for retailers to build quality measurements covering claims/fraud into commercial agreements with carriers, which would increase the partnership approach to delivering a service.

 

Q&A

In a question and answer session, it was agreed that better partnering between retailers and carriers is essential. This included open and honest sharing of data and one carrier with this process in place has managed to reduce claims by 65% year on year. Both sides would welcome intelligence on suspicious activities of staff or customers so that collective solutions could be investigated including the ad-hoc use of surveillance or tracker devices.

 

It was also conceded that better reporting on suspicious activity should be more specifically part of partnership agreements, through the inclusion of a clause written into contracts specifically around loss prevention.

 

There was further discussion around more proactive, real-time information because many retailers do not realise there is an issue with a delivery until a complaint arrives. The debate centred around so-called ‘In-flight options’ on last minute changes of address or delivery point, to keep all parties updated in real-time. However, it was acknowledged that additional service options come at a price.

 

Chair of the Online and Mail Order Forum, Alison Parkinson, said: “The discussion between the Forums was a good meeting of minds and it is a debate we will return to in order to help drive more collaborative working. When customers buy online, part of the promise is the safe delivery of their purchases. Both retailers and carriers have to work better and smarter to achieve this final mile service.”

 

Marie Griffiths, chair of the Logistics and Supply Chain Forum, added: “We had a useful discussion and we have agreed to meet again to pick up some of these themes in more detail. The debate is also very timely as more is expected of our carriers so we need to work more closely in partnership and collaborate better on suspicious activity. This will drive better practice and reduce losses in the supply chain.”

 

 

ORIS FORUMS HIGHLY COMMENDED IN BEST COLLABORATIVE SOLUTION AWARD FOR SECOND YEAR RUNNING

ORIS Forums has once again graced the stage in the Best Collaborative Solution category at the Retail Fraud Awards 2014 by picking up the highly commended prize.

 

After winning the category last year, the runner-up award, received by ORIS Forums Director Louise Henham and John Wilson, ORIS Forums Communications Director, at a glittering ceremony at King Power Stadium, Leicester in October, recognises a dramatic year of growth and increased collaborative lobbying activity.

 

ORIS Forums, which now facilitates 11 sector-specific Retail Loss Prevention forums serving the Fashion, Health, Beauty & Pharmacy, Cafe, Dining & Hospitality, DIY & Building Trade, Supermarket & Grocery, Speciality, Online & Mail Order, Health & Safety, Brand Protection, Logistics & Supply Chain and a Forum for retailers in Ireland.

 

In addition to regular meetings of the heads of LP, risk, health & safety and brand protection – four times a year – ORIS Forums has increased its frequency of contact for the retailer’s analysts to allow them to share tips and learn from each other. In addition, there has been increased contact with eBay that, owing to intense demand, has run a series of Webinars for Forum analysts to optimise the online auction site’s suite of free-to-use LP tools.

 

“We are delighted to have been successful once again. To win once was an achievement, but to pick up a highly commended award in the face of tough competition is testament to the desire of the retailers to share and do more themselves against a backdrop of reduced Police numbers,” said Louise.

 

We are very proud of our on-going relationship with eBay, which continues to yield fantastic results for the retailers who have been able to prevent hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of fraud hitting their businesses as a result of greater and more open communication, facilitated by the Forums,” she added.

 

There has also been a greater level of engagement at the top tables of Government and the criminal justice system thanks to the increased lobbying activity. During 2014, ORIS Forums responded to the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) to help shape a business crime strategy for the Capital. It has also met the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners and made submissions to the Sentencing Council on its consultation on shop theft. Its voice was also sought for comment on the new Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Police Bill.

 

The main work of the Forums is to provide a touch point for networking both inside and outside of the quarterly meetings and members regularly contact one another to discuss common threats and issues, as well as take part in splinter group activity to research specific issues.

 

ORIS Forums has also introduced cross-forum Crime Alerts and Monthly Trend reports for members, a service that helps them to better share intelligence on organised criminal activity around the UK. Cross-forum questions and answers posed to members by each other range in geographic diversity on subject matters from stock takes in China to aggressive shoplifting in Ireland and guarding providers in Oslo. There are generic physical and online issues facing all retailers, but also sector specific scams and trends such as the increased theft of perfumes from gift sets and the on-going issue of delivery or supplier fraud – a topic that is to be the subject of ORIS Forums first shared forum initiative where the members of the Logistics and Supply Chain Forum and those represented on the Online and Mail order forum will come together for a day of collaborative discussions on how to reduce loss in the supply chain. The date for this meeting is to be early 2015.

 

At the 2014 Cross Forum event at Silverstone, one of the newest Forum members, Alec Grocott, head of Health and Safety at Waterstones and chairman of the Health and Safety Forum, addressed 80 other businesses present and said: “I have been involved in health and safety for more than 30 years and the sharing of this Forum is the best I have been involved with in all that time – it has worked spectacularly well. Both in the meetings and offline, this group has acted like a Wikipedia of health and safety information. They are happy to share in an environment where everyone contributes and provides benchmarking evidence for members who may be trying to get additional resource from their own businesses, as well as providing CPD points for attending.”

 

In recent weeks this engagement has been extended to Facebook where the Forums have successfully reached out to the new head of law enforcement as the issues that once blighted eBay have now migrated on to the social networking sites. An ongoing dialogue is now in motion in terms of LP and brand protection with additional support from the Anti-Counterfeiting Group.

 

“We will continue to grow the forums in terms of membership in order to increase networking opportunities and share of voice in order to help retailers collectively reduce their losses. We will also continue to look at ways to add value to our members by engaging with industry bodies and other appropriate external parties,” added Louise.

 

For more information, contact louise.henham@orisforums.co.uk

ORIS Forums shortlisted for ‘Best Collaborative Solution’ award

ORIS Forums has once again been shortlisted in the 2014 Retail Fraud awards Best Collaborative Solution category.

 

During 2014, ORIS Forums has continued to add value to its members through collaborative initiatives, events and engagement with key industry bodies, organisations and law enforcement agencies with the overall objective of reducing crime and risk to the UK and Ireland retail industry.

 

ORIS Forums now has more than 90 retail members, representing over 100 brands.

 

ORIS Forums was named as overall winners of the same category at the 2013 awards and looks forward to this year’s awards ceremony which will take place on 8th October in Leicester, UK.

Mayor’s Office thanks ORIS Forums

Deputy Mayor of London Stephen Greenhalgh has thanked ORIS Forums as one of the contributors to the consultation on business crime across the Capital.

 

ORIS Forums met with the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) and submitted a response to the MOPAC consultation which was published in August 2014.

 

In his letter to ORIS Forums, the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, said: “The MOPAC Business Strategy has now been launched and I want to thank you for your important role in its development. Despite crime falling across the Capital, businesses in London continue to be vulnerable. Not only is business crime significantly under-reported (a point raised by ORIS Forums in response), but the enforcement response in very often deeply inadequate.”

A FORUM-ULA 1 EVENT

Silverstone – the Formula One home of the British Grand Prix provided the dramatic backdrop for this year’s ORIS Forums Risk Summit – the annual Cross Forum networking event that attracted more than 80 retailers to share not only best practice, but also ‘next’ practice.

 

The 8th May Summit was the third annual event for ORIS Forums that has celebrated a dramatic year with the launch of four new risk Forums – Health and Safety, Logistics and Supply Chain, Brand Protection and Ireland as well as securing the ‘Best Collaborative Solution’ award at the Retail Fraud Awards 2013.

 

The event, sponsored by TAG Company, Orridge, Securitas, The Cardinal Group, Clipper Retail, Arca, Trustwave, Transactis, LiveStore and Axis Communications attracted heads of LP, health and safety and supply chain risk from some of the UK’s biggest High Street and online brands to the Northamptonshire Circuit to hear keynote speakers and take part in round table discussions on the challenging issues impacting their businesses.

 

The day was opened by Alec Grocott, head of Health and Safety at Waterstones and chair of the newly-formed Health and Safety Forum, who said: “There is a clear need to share best practice and deal with some of the negative media coverage of health and safety which in reality deals with some really serious issues including malicious compensation claims and parents abandoning children in our stores.”

 

“I have been involved in health and safety for more than 30 years and the sharing of this Forum is the best I have been involved with in all that time – it has worked spectacularly well. Both in the meetings and offline, this group has acted like a Wikipedia of health and safety information. They are happy to share in an environment where everyone contributes and provides benchmarking evidence for members who may be trying to get additional resource from their own businesses, as well as providing CPD points for attending,”

 

DI David Parkes of the Met’s anti-terrorist Operation Fairway provided the delegates with details of insider threat document awareness – the use of forged papers including passports in order to perpetrate acts of terror.

 

He said that the threat had moved from terrorist groups to radicalised ‘lone attackers’, many of whom had infiltrated legitimate businesses using forged or stolen documents including passports that sell for as much as £10,000 each.

 

One example given was that of an animal rights activist who worked for the DVLA in Swansea who had provided fellow campaigners with the vehicle details and addresses of researchers and lab staff involved in animal experiments – a security breach that had resulted in targeted attacks.

 

Purges of employees carried out after the two-hour Fairways workshop training resulted in one company sacking 317 workers because a search revealed their documents fell short on authenticity. He said a staggering 80,000 people a year change their name on a whim and apply for a passport and a further 300,000 passports per year go missing. He added that it was not illegal to buy or possess a novelty passport, such as one from a country that no longer existed, although perpetrators would be committing the offence of deception if you try and open an account using a Czechoslovakian or Yugoslavian passport.
Doug Russell, head of health and safety at USDAW spoke about the shop worker’s trade union campaign ‘Freedom from Fear’ because there was concern that the latest figures revealed violence and threats against shop staff were on the increase and under-reporting was becoming a challenge.

 

“This could be for a number of reasons – they try to report it, but they are embarrassed or do not bother because nothing happened on previous occasions, or that reporting it would result in it being viewed as their fault,” he said.

 

“As a union, we have interviewed 3000 shop workers and found that 57 per cent had been victims of verbal abuse, 35 per cent had received threats and four per cent had been physically assaulted.”

 

The biggest flash points, he said, were not LP-related, but to do with service issues such as refusing under age sales, and a new phenomena of ‘self-scan rage.’

 

Kevin McMenimen then gave an overview of the LP Foundation certification programme that has been in the US since 2006 and is to be introduced in the UK and Europe during 2014.

 

“The LP Qualification and the higher LP Certification provide industry benchmarking for when organisations are making hiring decisions. It means that they know that the job applicant is at this level to begin with. It is a commitment to elevate the profession,” he said.

 

Both qualifications, to be launched through ORIS Media in the UK, require more than 40-hour study and a final examination.

“We are building a better candidate pool and advancing our profession – so why not lead it rather than be led,” he added.

The final presentation came from Mark Johnson, chairman of The Risk Management Group (TRMG) who gave an insight into the mind of the cyber criminal.

 

He said the City of London Police figures revel that 70 per cent of reported incidents were now cyber-crime related, many of which were using social media
through vulnerable hot spots including coffee shops as a result of businesses banning staff going online during working time, a policy that can make organisations more vulnerable to cyber attacks “Despite desk and laptop anti virus protection, less than five per cent of smart phones have anti malware, even though there may be more personal and transactional information on phones that double as mobile wallets,” he said.

 

He said modern malware was both automated and sophisticated and that the so-called ‘Deep Web’ – up top 150 billion Internet pages – is not penetrated by conventional search engines including Google or Yahoo. English language sites only represent 27 per cent of the web while Chinese language websites alone represent 24 per cent of all searches.

 

The afternoon sessions involved round table discussions on topics as diverse as preparedness for Glasgow 2014 – the Commonwealth Games, Supply Chain resilience, malicious ‘slip and trip’ claims and international loss prevention.

 

Director of ORIS Forums and managing editor of LP Magazine EU, Louise Henham said: “Silverstone has over the years seen some high-powered performances, both on and off the track, and this risk summit was certainly not short of high-octane subject matter. The day was extremely well-attended and provided some excellent networking and through-provoking presentations.”