An Experiment on the Prevention of Shoplifting

9355 Words38 Pages
AN EXPERIMENT ON THE PREVENTION OF SHOPLIFTING by David P. Farrington Institute of Criminology, Cambridge University Sean Bowen Dixons Stores Group, London Abigail Buckle St. Catharine's College, Cambridge University Tony Burns-Howell Dixons Stores Group, London John Burrows Morgan Harris Burrows, Crime Management Consultants and Martin Speed Dixons Stores Group, London Abstract* The aim of this experiment was to evaluate the effectiveness of crime analysis and situational prevention in preventing shoplifting. Three prevention techniques were compared: electronic tagging, store redesign, and deployment of a uniformed guard. Shoplifting was measured by systematically counting specified items every day and comparing the number of missing items with the number sold, given away or used in the store. Nine stores with high shoplifting Address for correspondence: Professor David P. Farrington, Cambridge University, Institute of Criminology, 7 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DT, England. -93- 94 DAVID P. FARRINGTON et al. rates were identified in a prior study. Electronic tagging was introduced in two, store redesign in two, a uniformed guard in two; and the remaining three served as controls, receiving no intervention. Shoplifting was measured during the week before the intervention, the week after, and three to six weeks later. The results showed that: electronic tagging caused a lasting decrease in shoplifting; store redesign caused an immediate decrease that was wearing off after six weeks; and the uniformed guard had no effect on shoplifting. A program of research focusing on crime analysis and situational prevention of shoplifting is recommended, especially aiming to achieve lasting benefits from store redesign. BACKGROUND TO THE EXPERIMENT Shoplifting, like other types of offending behavior, arises from the interaction between an

More about An Experiment on the Prevention of Shoplifting

Open Document