While the Christmas period means added spending, it also provides shops and department stores with the problem of increased shoplifting and pilfering.
While the Christmas period means added spending, it also provides shops and department stores with the problem of increased shoplifting and pilfering. The world's largest department store, Macys, in New York, runs what amounts to a private police force to deal with thieving in the store.
The Macys security operation in highly sophisticated, employing closed circuit television; a battery of monitoring screens; armed and radio equipped security guards: and guards dogs. However, despite the sophistication of the system, Macys executives say the aim of the operation is to prevent thieving rather then detain thieves.
Daytime security is centred on a store-wide network of closed-circuit television cameras connected to a central monitoring area. The staff of the monitoring section are in touch with security guards by radio, and can direct the guards to any area where something suspicious is sighted. Monitoring screens are also placed around the store so that other shoppers may observe what is seen by the closed-circuit cameras.
The security staff of the store are deputy policemen, and within the store have the rights and powers of police officers. Suspected detained in the store are taken to a security centre, or police station, where they are questioned and charged.
At night the huge store is guarded by small army of armed security guards and dogs. The night guards with their dogs locate thieves who remain in the store at closing time with the purposes of helping themselves to goods under cover of night.
Macys executives say the security system has led to a marked drop in the incidence of theft from the store.