Release Date: November 9th, 2018 - 9:10am
Originator: Constable Ryan Anderson, Corporate Communications, 905-825-4899
Contact: Inspector Bob Gourley, 3 District Operations, 905-825-4777 ext. 2301
Location: Halton Region
The Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) has a new tool to help identify suspects of retail thefts occurring in the Region. The HRPS is the first service in Ontario to leverage a website dubbed ‘Retail C.O.P.’ (Cameras on Patrol).
Images of suspects in retail thefts are uploaded to the secure site, along with brief suspect descriptions. These images are typically gathered from retail store surveillance cameras. Loss prevention officers are then provided access to the website in hopes of helping to identify suspects. Any tips are sent to the HRPS Retail Theft Unit for investigation.
To date, the HRPS has invited and trained more than one hundred loss prevention officers from across Ontario to take part in the program.
This program provides retailers, security, loss prevention and law enforcement agencies opportunities to identify offenders and through education, reduce and prevent organized retail crime, and prosecute identified offenders.
“The reception has been fantastic. By tapping into the knowledge and experience of the loss prevention officers on the ground in stores across Halton we are taking advantage of a previously underutilized resource,” said Inspector Bob Gourley, 3 District Operations.
Retail theft costs Canadians four billion dollars year, with costs being passed on to consumers. This year to date, there have been more than one thousand occurrences of retail theft reported to police in Halton.
The HRPS Retail Theft Unit has made more than two-hundred positive identifications by working with loss prevention officers and using existing tools such as social media. The Retail C.O.P. program will improve this process and build on the already successful relationship that exists between police and loss prevention officers.
Tips can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers "See Something? Hear Something? Know Something? Contact Crime Stoppers" at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca.