The pandemic changed countless things about how many businesses operate. Unfortunately, specific sectors, like retail, took an extremely difficult hit and suffered the challenges of shutting down brick and mortar locations while dealing with the increased amounts of organized crime, theft, and property damage.

Before COVID-19, the retail industry was already relinquishing billions of dollars every year due to vandalism, theft, and other criminal activity. And as of 2022, more than two-thirds of U.S.-based retailers say that 2020 increased risks for their organization even though the overall amount of theft decreased in 2021. Once-thriving retail areas and shopping centers have become ghost towns as vacancy rates continue to rise. Unfortunately, criminals go where there are opportunities, and securing property after-hours can be costly. So, within this ‘new normal’ how should businesses be looking to navigate and secure security success in 2022 and beyond?

With the current state of the retail industry, it’s imperative to prevent break-ins and loitering to make shopping areas more attractive to shoppers. For many years, security systems like traditional video surveillance and video verification have been set to act as a deterrent but remained a reactive solution. Additionally, these solutions dispatch law enforcement whether or not there is an actual threat, which could cost businesses expensive false alarm fees or harm the response of future law enforcement to actual incidents.

This creates a lose-lose situation, where money and assets are lost if a crime occurs, or time and resources are lost from false alarms. While this frustrating combination has been one of the only options for retailers in the past, there is a more robust alternative solution that can solve these challenges and empower retailers to manage threats in this higher-risk landscape.

Proactive Video Monitoring (PVM) is truly the only effective solution for retail security. PVM is purpose-built software designed to benefit retail properties and differs from conventional monitoring in that it can prevent crimes before they happen. Traditional reactive monitoring means no action is taken until during or after a crime has been committed. As we’ve seen, this can have severe consequences as theft, vandalism, violence, and other criminal activity can devastate a business financially. Additionally, hiring costly guard services may not be an option for many companies as budget constraints are tight. Proactive video monitoring offers 24/7/365 protection and can serve as a highly effective and budget-friendly solution.

By following three simple steps: monitoring, personal intervention, and reporting, PVM has shown to be 98 percent effective in thwarting criminal activity.

Monitor

Using PVM, the platform’s monitoring and machine learning technology detects a threat. It immediately alerts an intervention specialist once the unauthorized activity is detected. Machine learning is ever-evolving, ever-learning, and always becoming more refined. Cutting-edge algorithms utilizing artificial neural web processing technology “learn” to differentiate between various alarms and associated data to determine why they were activated. Such levels of AI permit PVM software to select which alarms have been deemed false versus circumstances that require instant attention.

Machine learning is excellent for skilled security personnel, as the human eye can only see so many details of a scene before critical incidents are missed. It authorizes multiple events and extensive volumes of data displaying various patterns and trends to be examined to detect abnormalities that may not be noticeable to a human.

Intervene

The US-based intervention specialist quickly receives the signal at the monitoring center and can investigate the area of concern. If necessary, the specialist can speak directly with the intruder through a live audio warning. Finally, the specialist will follow customer-determined protocols to launch the proper response, whether contacting law enforcement, notifying stakeholders, or other decisive action.

Report

Incident reports are then created and made readily available for users in their respective web or mobile apps. Incident reporting helps organizations make better decisions about their security infrastructure. It can also help save time and resources by determining where threats and risks lie by enabling the team to set up procedures and best practices to combat them.

With the considerable threats facing retail businesses, particularly since the pandemic, traditional video surveillance is no longer a satisfactory solution. PVM stops the crime at the source and can save businesses costs on guarding, false alarm fees, and, most importantly, theft or property damages. With over 100,000 crimes prevented to date, PVM is the proven way to safeguard your retail business in 2022 and beyond.