Third Party Policing

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The purpose of this essay is to highlight the increasing problem of theft from retail stores in the area of Coffs Harbour in New South Wales. While the latest figures from the New South Wales Recorded Crime Statistics (2015) show that theft from retail stores has increased by 5.3 per cent state wide, the increase in the area of Coffs Harbour is 40.4 per cent. This crime problem requires urgent attention, requiring additional attention and strategies by police to significantly reduce the amount of theft from retail stores in the area. The implementation of third party policing, which in this case involves partnerships being developed between police, retailers and management, would be an effective strategy to employ in an attempt to address…show more content…
Police alone cannot prevent shoplifting, however police officers can persuade retailers to be more proactive by increasing security, and implementing strategies aimed at reducing theft, such as linking CCTV systems to alarms (Nelson & Perrone, 2000). Modern technology is constantly improving methods of tagging stock to make the theft of goods more detectable (Nelson & Perrone, 2000). Store owners and centre mangers need to be convinced that the costs of increasing security will be recouped through reduced losses associated with theft (Clarke & Petrossian, 2012). Police teaming up with business owners and management of retail areas is a common method in third party policing in an attempt to address the crime problem. A study conducted by Bellamy (cited in Mazerolle & Ransley, 2005) evaluated the impacts of third party policing using tactics to combat robberies in local convenience stores. For the period 1981 to 1985 the area being studied, Gainesville, Florida had the highest crime rate in the state with 96 percent of convenience stores being robbed at least once in that period. In 1996 the council made it compulsory for business owners to comply with new implementations in an effort to reduce the crime problem, such as CCTV installation, improved lighting outside their premises and robbery prevention training for staff. It was also…show more content…
Despite the limited research and analysis of third party policing, the studies that have been conducted have found that third party policing can be effective for controlling crimes such as youth problems and drugs (Drew & Prenzler, 2015). In the case of theft from retail, improved relations between the police, store owners and retail management, as well as the general public can have positive effects for crime reduction. Despite limited research available regarding the effectiveness of shopfront police beats, they continue to grow in numbers in the larger retail centres which indicates they are having a positive effect. The police beat program was launched in Queensland in 1993 and today has 46 neighbourhood police beats and 48 shopfront police beats established (Queensland Police, 2016). Research conducted by Taylor & Charlton (2005) reported that retailers from centres where a shopfront police beat is present are more likely to report crime than retailers at a centre without a shopfront police beat. Higher levels of reporting to police may be a result of the increased police presence in the centre. Higher levels of reporting is likely to result in higher levels of apprehension of

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