Supported by a new GEUTEBRÜCK video system, Myer, Australia’s largest department store group declares the game’s up for shoplifters

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With new security technology operating in its 68 stores Myer, Australia’s largest department store group, has declared to shoplifters that their game’s now up.  For more than a year the use of radio frequency tags and a new GEUTEBRÜCK digital CCTV system operated by well-trained staff has been proving extremely successful in enabling security staff to identify and report known shoplifters, suspicious behaviour and co-ordinated activity among groups of individuals on their premises. The result being that most shoplifting suspects are now apprehended before leaving the premises.

Myer is delighted with this success - even if it did not quite happen overnight. - Selecting the video security system took two years.  The retailer’s previous video system had suffered from high fault levels and lower than expected performance so this time Myer was determined to find one which would deliver on all its promises.  Following several pilot installations, a number of technical shoot outs and a great deal of evidence-gathering Myer’s final choice was a system designed and installed by Secom TS and supplied by GEUTEBRÜCK Pacific, using GeViScope SE platforms and around 6000 Sony 1.3 megapixel cameras.  Myer commended Secom TS on its design work and proof of concept, and judged the GEUTEBRÜCK solution to excel particularly in its fast and responsive video management and its user functionality, with its quick search and edit tools such as the ‘cut list’ and ‘motion search’ being particularly impressive.

In operation around the country during recent months the new system has convinced in practice too.  Its high quality images enable security staff to identify individuals, and its functionality makes easy work of spotting unusual behaviour - people handling lots of different goods, hanging round for long periods, unplugging items or acting in concert – so that this can be reported to store guards who then shadow at close quarters, making their presence felt before offences are committed.

Besides the system’s general high technical quality, speed and reliability, much of the quality and convenience of the assistance which the store security staff experience in their everyday duties is due to a handful of standard system and plug-in functions.  One of these is activity detection which triggers alarms and changes the recording parameters to predetermined settings when movement is detected in unexpected locations.  Another much used facility is the ‘Follow me’ function which allows operators to quickly ‘drag and drop’ video of suspicious behaviour from the monitor where it is first spotted, to the central monitor of three on their console.  Once there, the video is automatically recorded at high resolution for evidential purposes and retained for reference on a separate database.  This ability to freely select and group multiple video streams from cameras all round the store makes it much easier for Myer staff to see interaction or collusion taking place between individuals in different locations.

Besides loss prevention, Myer are finding that video images from the system are valuable for other purposes too.  For instance if a shopper makes a claim against a store because of an accident, a fall for example, being able to prove with video images that the store had already drawn the hazard to shoppers’ attention and therefore fulfilled its legal obligations, or that the accident did not happen as claimed, can save the retailer considerable legal expenses.  Images from one particular set of cameras in each store is available to marketing staff for check display compliance centrally, without leaving head office.  Given the vast distances between Australian cities, and hence stores, this useful facility saves travelling time and expense.