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December 2023

The jewellery industry has always been synonymous with luxury, beauty, and intricate craftsmanship. However, the industry can also grapple with security challenges, given the high value and small size of its products. Businesses are no doubt in the mist of Christmas trading, and it is certainly not a time to let your guard down.

We are all aware of the rising costs of living due to inflation and with that comes some desperate measures by those that feel this pressure. The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research has reported that a sharp rise in retail theft, with similar rises across Australia, which has brought it back to pre-pandemic levels.

Recently published, the 2022 Australia and New Zealand Retail Crime Study is an indispensable resource for retailers and loss prevention experts. This comprehensive study offers academic and statistical insights into the latest crime trends affecting the industry, thereby providing valuable guidance.

Some valuable insights from the study serve as a reminder to check how your business is responding to the following. We provide examples of how you may reduce these risks.

  1. Increase the perceived risk
    The probability of apprehension or detection is critical in evaluating a criminal opportunity. Ensure you are adequately staffed to reduce customer waiting times and opportunities to be distracted, additionally, confirm  security cameras are adequately placed and operating.
  2. Increase the perceived effort
    Measures that increase the amount of time or energy an offender must invest to commit a crime can be an effective deterrent. Where do you show your most valuable stock in the store or office, does it give an offender a clear pathway to exit after a grab and run? Consider showing your more valuable stock in a location that makes it more difficult for an offender to have a clear path to exit the store or office. In addition to using a safe word among staff.
  3. Reduce the reward
    If the potential benefits of the crime can be reduced, the criminal opportunity becomes far less attractive. Always keep showcases locked, even when showing stock and only show one item of stock at a time (particularly if above a certain value).
  4. Remove the excuse
    Offenders often justify committing a crime. Pre-empting these self-justifications can reduce the likelihood of offences occurring. Have clear signage that the location is under CCTV surveillance. Noting that Monash University's study of consumer attitudes to theft shows those between 18-34 years of age where more likely to justify theft (around 50%), compared to older age groups (90%).
  5. Reduce provocations
    Frustration with a process can escalate to violence or aggression. Have refund and exchange policies written in plain language (both in store and on tax invoices) and explained at time of purchase.

One of the foremost steps towards enhancing security in the jewellery industry is the implementation of robust surveillance systems. High-definition cameras, strategically placed throughout the premises, serve as a crucial deterrent against potential theft. Furthermore, the integration of advanced alarm systems, coupled with motion sensors and access control technologies, fortifies the security framework, ensuring swift detection and response to any unauthorised access or suspicious activity.

In addition to physical security, the jewellery industry is increasingly leveraging cutting-edge technological advancements to safeguard its products. For instance, radio frequency identification (RFID) and barcode systems enable meticulous tracking of inventory, offering real-time insights into the movement of each piece of jewellery. Such systems not only aid in preventing theft but also streamline inventory management, reducing the likelihood of internal discrepancies and losses.

Training and education also play a pivotal role in fortifying security measures within the jewellery industry. Educating employees about the significance of security protocols and cultivating a culture of vigilance and responsibility can significantly mitigate the risk of theft and fraudulent activities. Regular workshops and seminars, conducted in collaboration with security experts, can empower employees to identify potential threats and adhere to best practices, fostering a secure and vigilant workforce.

We thank you for your support in 2023, wish you a Merry Christmas and prosperous 2024. Happy trading!

JAA Board

JAA Directors - Joshua Sharp (President), Jo Tory, Ronnie Bauer (VP) and  Dr Meredith Doig at the JIF Soiree x Awards (August 2023)

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