How do you protect your retail premises from shoplifters?

How do you protect your retail premises from shoplifters?


Ever been in a store and spotted someone that doesn’t appear to be behaving like a normal shopper? Your intuition could be right on the money – literally. Unlike the tag on a pair of socks, the typical shoplifter is not a “One Size Fits All” offender. It is easy to assume that the suspicious looking kid in the dirty sneakers, black hoodie, and carrying a backpack is the one to watch but this is a misleading stereotype. Shoplifters come in all shapes and sizes and they are getting more and more cunning in their goal of ripping off Australian shop owners.

Retailers simply cannot cover all the bases when it comes to shoplifting and theft. They can exhaust themselves trying to serve their honest customers and simultaneously scan for the ever-present danger of shoplifters says Dudley van Staveren, State Security Manager for InFront Security Services. He speaks daily to frustrated retail business owners who are suffering from the impact theft has on their profitability and staff morale. Sadly, the losses incurred from retail theft in Australia are part of a multibillion dollar problem that is getting worse as the perpetrators become increasingly more sophisticated in the scams they adopt.

The reality is, technology has been a blessing and curse for retailers. Solutions such as magnetic security tags on stock and contactless payments at the register can be misused and exploited to deceive the store owners. Mr van Staveren points to such scams as price label switching to pay a cheaper price for a product, returning stolen items without receipt for refund in either cash or credit voucher, and credit card ‘cloning’ as new ways that retailers can lose money to theft. Small handheld devices are also available to quickly remove magnetic security tags, requiring greater vigilance in the changing rooms and areas out of sight of staff.

Although not a fool-proof rule of thumb, there are things to look out for if you want more than an outside chance of spotting a potential shoplifter. Watch out particularly for these signs when someone:
  • Spends time watching the staff within the store
  • Wears bulky, heavy clothing during warm weather
  • Frequently comes and goes without making a purchase
  • Appears nervous and/or is walking unnaturally
Be careful not to overlook those legitimately buying something to distract you while accomplices are walking out the store with stolen stock.

Mr van Staveren reveals that shoplifters are adept at knowing the optimum time to strike. They are sophisticated, proficient and often work in organised groups to maximise their “take”. They like a busy store and other vulnerable times when staff are opening up, closing, or during a shift change – anytime when the staff might let their guard down and be distracted momentarily.Obviously, it’s impossible to have your merchandise permanently under lock and key so being vigilant and perhaps investing in some experienced security personnel is worth considering. Remember, shoplifters will be looking to strike with speed and stealth so the following items categorised as the acronym CRAVED are especially attractive to them. Handheld electronics, jewellery, personal care items and clothing are all ‘CRAVED’ items targeted by shoplifters.







The one thing shoplifters hate and will most likely see them moving on to easier pickings is pro-active sales staff who will make contact with customers and remain engaged with them for the duration of their time in the store. This may annoy customers who are just looking, but in the long run, the losses a store suffers at the hands of shoplifters are inevitably passed on to customers in higher prices, borne out of increased insurance premiums and security measures to combat crime. In 2014/2015 losses due to product theft in Australia’s retail sector were in excess of $2.4 billion. Consider the increased in-store attention to your browsing habits a necessary inconvenience.Many retailers are now employing the services of a security guard.   On hand to greet customers and keep an eye on the comings and goings in store, their subtle yet visible presence means sales staff are then free to focus on what they do best – serving customers. A skilful and experienced security guard can act quickly, is trained to handle incidents and frequently serves as a pre-emptive deterrent for any would-be lawbreaker. Additionally, they can alert staff to customer’s needs in busy times and they will accompany personnel as a minder for the banking run.

Dudley van Staveren and the highly-trained team at InFront Security Services have over 15 years of experience in retail security. Specialising in the premium retail sector, InFront counts among its clients some of the top luxury and premium retailers in Queensland. If you are a retailer who wants your security requirements fully evaluated and a plan instigated for the ongoing protection of your business then get in touch with InFront for a confidential discussion. 

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Daniel Lim-Bromilow

Operations Manager – K9

Daniel entered the industry in 2005 and commenced with Infront Security as a K9 Handler in 2010.

Daniel brings to Infront over a decade of on the ground experience and extensive knowledge of security. 

After seven years in supervisory and operational roles within the company, Daniel now manages Static Security and K9 services for some of Infront’s most high profile clients. 

Daniel has a demonstrated history managing large scale portfolios, with a proactive, hands on approach and a commitment to actively promoting company performance, standards and ideology in a client service environment. Daniel holds a Certificate III in Security Operations as well as undertaking studies in Justice Administration and other professional development in the workplace.

Brendan Hines

Operations Manager- Events

Brendan has been an integral component of the Infront Events Management team since late 2017. He came to us following a long career in various operational roles, having worked/managed security at most of the major events on the Queensland events calendar. Brendan is responsible of coordinating the event security team, roster development, staff recruitment, development of work instructions/Security Management Plan as well as ensuring contractual compliance. During major events, Brendan is responsible for co-ordinating security personal at the event, liaising with all stake holders and ensuring all compliance issues are being meet  . Brendan works closely with our Crowd Control Department to manage the Infront staffing pool so that all staffing requirements for both events, as well as regular day-today services, are met.

Cheryl Lowlen

Office Manager

Cheryl started at Infront since inception in 2002 doing all office administration functions at that time.

Since Infront has grown Cheryl is now responsible for overseeing all office functions as well as the internal auditing of quality assurance management system. The Infront HSEQ internal management system, assisting in the initiating and implementing policy and procedures.  

Cheryl also does compliance and administration at the major events and festivals on the Infront calendar working alongside the event manager. She also  performs some  IT functions in the office and implementation of new systems.

Neil Dicholkar

Financial Controller

Neil commenced working for Infront in October 2017 following a wide ranging career in corporate finance and administration. Neil has exposure in diverse industries including Travel, ICT, FMCG and Services.  A Chartered Accountant by trade Neil also holds a MBA and a Bachelor of Science. As a Financial Controller, Neil is responsible for the financial integrity of the Group and finance related activities from Cash Flow Management, Budgeting & Forecasting, day to day management of finance function to meet the expectations of our clients.

Lisa Smith

HSE Cordinator

Prior to commencing with Infront Security, Lisa has worked for many years with a number of major mining companies, both nationally and internationally. As a Safety and Risk professional, she has been responsible for risk assessment facilitation (HSE and whole of business), development of ISO compliant HSE management systems, development of induction and safety leaderships programs, as well as the development of Audit and Compliance programs.

Since joining Infront, she has introduced a range of initiatives based on her extensive experience, which has contributed significantly to the increased safety of our staff.  Lisa holds a Bachelor of Science (environmental/ Chemistry), Certificate IV in Assessment and Workplace Training and Certificate III in Frontline Management, as well as being an accredited Rehabilitation and Return to Work Coordinator.

David Ford

Operations Manager-static

David commenced with Infront Security in 2016 following a long and extensive 15 year career in security operational management roles. As a security professional, he has developed his account management and project management expertise throughout his career, and brings to Infront a range of experience not often seen at the operational management level. David is currently responsible for all of our Static Guard Queensland sites, and is an accredited Workplace Rehabilitation Coordinator, holding a Certificate IV in Workplace Health and Safety as well as various security operations accreditation.

Dudley van Staveren

State Operations Manager

Dudley commenced working in the security industry in 1994, and has undertaken a variety of operational management roles before Infront Security as the State Operations Manager in 2010. Dudley is responsible for the contract management of all our static guarding, mobile patrols and K9&Handler team clients, as well as providing support to the Crowd Control/Event Security Division.

He has built a strong reputation within the industry for his exceptional customer service, collaborative problem solving, and staff management skills, evidenced by the longevity of the relationships he has developed with our client base. Dudley holds a Diploma of Security and Risk Management, as well as undertaking various professional development in workplace health and safety and security operations.

Matthew Bhimbhai

Founder and CEO

Matthew has been involved in the security industry for over 25 years. In 2002, he saw a need for a truly customer-focused locally-based security company and established the Infront Security Group. Matthew’s strategic positioning has seen what commenced ostensibly as a crowd control company grow to incorporate the full gamut of manpower offerings with Infront currently providing security services to some of the most critical infrastructure across Queensland. He is a key figure in the security industry, working closely with various Queensland State Government departments to promote security risk and compliance, and providing operational advice on a range of security issues that confront our society today. Matthew is a “hands on” leader and has ultimate responsibility for all of our client sites as the Contract Sponsor and is the Event Manager for all of the major events that we service.

Matthew holds a Diploma in Security Operations and Risk Management, and has undertaken various training programs in workplace training and assessment, and weapons instruction. Matthew has also participated in numerous specialist training programs pertinent to the climate we operate in today such as the Responding to Chemical, Biological and Radiological Attacks held at Macquarie University in Sydney.