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We recently met with Nisa Local Bow Road to gather some feedback on how Facewatch has affected their business. Facewatch was installed to the store in March 2021 to help the store staff fight crime.

We spoke with Chirag Patel, the store manager, who reported that Facewatch has had a really positive impact on the business.

In a video testimonial Chirag says that, ‘It has made a massive improvement… Our crime levels have dropped drastically’

Chirag explains that before installing Facewatch, they were struggling to manage crime. Their CCTV system was not enough to deter the crime and they were looking to use a more proactive tool.

Facewatch uses revolutionary Facial Recognition technology to watch out for shoplifters and other local offenders. When an offender enters the premises, their face is instantly recognised and an alert is generated.

This means that store staff can prioritise more important operational tasks like serving customers or stocking shelves safe with the knowledge that Facewatch is protecting the store.

Since using the system, Chirag and his staff have been able to keep on top of the store crime and drastically reduce the levels of crime in store.

‘The customers love that we have it, because it make them feel safe when in our premises’

In addition to the store staff loving the system, the reception with customers has also been great.

Having an effective solution to deter crime helps to create a safer working environment.

Facewatch is currently installing systems daily across the UK and stores interested in the system should contact our team immediately to secure their installation date.

0207 930 3225

enquiries@facewatch.co.uk

Play video here:

Eat 17’s family run SPAR in Hackney has become a strong advocate of Facewatch.

Following a successful trial at their Walthamstow store last year, the system was installed at the Hackney store 5 months ago to combat store crime. It immediately made an impact.

Once the repeat offenders are uploaded to the system, Facewatch’s unique software is able to recognize the returning offenders and instantly warn the store staff by sending an alert via the Facewatch mobile app.

By receiving the alert, store staff then have the information required to safely deal with the situation and prevent any further incidents.

In a video testimonial Emmanuelle Jardin, The Store Manager, says that, ‘Since installing Facewatch in our store, we saved I reckon, a few thousand pounds a week.’

As well as reducing the stock loss and saving money, the system also has a positive impact by creating a safer working environment for the colleagues in the store. Knowing that the system is watching out for offenders, it gives them peace of mind to go about their jobs without being worried for their safety.

‘Having the backup of the system, does make us feel more confident and safer.’

Emmanuelle also goes on to explain how the system automatically shares data with the local community, allowing local businesses to work together to combat crime.

Facewatch is currently installing systems daily across the UK and stores interested in the system should contact our team immediately to secure their installation date.

0207 930 3225

enquiries@facewatch.co.uk

Play video here:

Appleby Westward, the successful convenience store wholesaler in the South and West of the UK, has become a firm supporter of Facewatch and has installed the facial recognition system in their own stores. They will be promoting the system to their independent retailers with a view for them to all install the shoplifting and anti-social behaviour deterrent.

In March 2021, this company trialled Facewatch for 90 days in 2 of their company owned stores based in Portsmouth. After just 45 days the system had been so effective that they decided to end the trial early and sign up for a paying contract.

In a video testimonial Martin Sanger, one of the groups area managers, says that, ‘It became clear that the effectiveness of the system in deterring store crime had saved the company thousands in shrinkage’ .

Since the opening up of retail following the pandemic there has been a surge of interest by convenience store owners to find ways to deter habitual thieves and reduce bad behaviour and abuse from some customers. Martin mentions this in his video interview and it seems that this challenge is across the whole UK. Today the focus for convenience stores, in particular, is to improve the working conditions of employees after a very tough 2020 when managing restrictions became a new and important priority which led to more theft. Facewatch provides a low cost and effective way to deter the worst offenders without any negative effect on the retail experience.

Facewatch is currently installing systems daily across the UK and stores interested in the system should contact our team immediately to secure their installation date.

Play video here:

video-interview

The pace of Facewatch installations continues to increase with two new installations in Wolverhampton and Leeds this week (week 24 2021)

New system upgrades also continue across our network in London and Luton.

 

With the recent BRC (British Retail Consortium) crime survey reporting an increase in theft and violence many retailers are facing huge challenges to support their front line workers and protect their stock. With a further increase in theft in the wholesale market to compound the issues technology is increasingly seen as a low cost and positive way forward.

Facewatch have recently commissioned a YouGOV survey across the UK and public opinion towards the use of CCTV based AFR systems shows that over 74.9% of the public are in agreement or are neutral about the use of AFR in everyday life to prevent and solve crime.

If you are a retail owner who is worried about theft and anti-social behaviour in your store but have questions about the reaction by your customers to the use of these new technologies then Nick Fisher, CEO, Facewatch is available to discuss the challenges, show you the system in use and for you to meet other retailers who are currently using the Facewatch system.

Our Data Protection Officer, Dave Sumner is also available to overview the detail of how Facewatch manages data under the GDPR data protection law. https://www.facewatch.co.uk/privacy/facewatch-and-gdpr/

 

Nick Fisher, CEO, Facewatch, responds to the latest BRC crime report

https://brc.org.uk/news/corporate-affairs/retail-crime-continues-to-climb/

The recent BRC (British Retail Consortium) 2021 crime report gives us all a chilling reminder of how even during a pandemic retail crime and violence continues to blight an industry that employs over 3million people- 10% of the UK working population.

The headline facts show a marked increase in theft and violence and how difficult it is to convict those committing offences.

  • 7% rise in incidents of violence and abuse against shopworkers, now at 455 each day
  • Only 6% of incidents of violence and abuse result in prosecution
  • Whopping £2.5 billion cost of crime to retailers, including £935m in customer theft

Technology is providing a range of innovative solutions to ensure the retail experience is safe and pleasurable, however, some of these new solutions make it easier for theft and sometimes mean a less interactive experience for shoppers especially those who are older and less able to cope with new technology. These challenges will continue, and new innovations are sure to arrive that answer these needs. Crime and violence however seem to be an epidemic driven by social issues that vary greatly across the UK. One thing this report highlights is that overall, there is a steady increase in theft and violence, specifically in the retail sector.

Facewatch App

How are we helping at Facewatch?

As a business our vision is to create safer, crime fee retailing, and our mission is to develop the very latest technology to be used by retailers to create a deterrent to both theft and violence. Our newest, fastest, and easiest to use version of Facewatch is being deployed by all types of retailers nationwide to great effect.

We understand it is not easy for a retailer to broadcast they are using a sophisticated technology such as facial recognition, but our customer collectively agree that Facewatch is it an imperative tool to have in your armoury if you are serious about providing a safe environment for your employees and customers. For those using the Facewatch system, customer facing employees report feeling safer and the accountants report less shrinkage. It’s a win-win solution and if our users had any negative feedback from their everyday loyal customers, we would be the first to know. Just for the record, this has never happened! Facewatch provides store signage to ensure the service is transparent to all customer and operates beyond the standard required by GDPR and is evidenced to reduce crime in your store by at least 25% in the first 90 days.

 

If you think criminals are getting away with it, think again! Narrated by Rav Wilding, this series shows how smart technology and specialist tactics are being used to bring offenders to justice.

Nick Fisher and Simon Gordon – tell the true story of Facewatch and how it is deterring crime across the retail sector.

All episodes are now live on BBC Iplayer:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episodes/m000tq65/frontline-fightback

 

 

 

Nick Fisher talks about the challenges for retailers and how they are managing crime and violence

If you run a business that’s about standing up for individuals privacy rights in a democratic country and rely on creating headline news to encourage people to financially support you, it looks like challenging times ahead. Greater issues such as climate change, famine, racism, crime, immigration, Brexit and of course this awful pandemic will continue to be the headlines for some time to come.

 

However, if this is your strategy and you hope to attract and engage advocates of your position, it would serve you well to accurately reflect the truth and demonstrate at least some understanding of your subjects’ proposition and how it works before potentially playing with people’s lives. That is unless your strategy is to purposefully misrepresent the facts, propagate untruths, create sensationalism, or instill fear.

 

The facts are, Facewatch uses facial recognition to protect employees and business against criminals. Our algorithms are highly accurate, tested frequently by NIST and currently rank as the best in the Western World. Facewatch goes above and beyond GDPR legislation when processing and managing data, implementing self-imposed rules and additional levels of security and transparency beyond legislative requirements. Contrary to incorrect reports, there are no secrets to any Facewatch deployment, clear signage is a mandatory requirement of use. Furthermore, our customers have published testimonials, with all reporting significant reductions in crime, employees feeling safer and no effect whatsoever on footfall.

Retail crime is at an all-time high and verbal and violent assaults on employees is the norm, some reports indicating an 80% increase year on year!  Protecting your most valuable asset, your people is an imperative of all responsible retailers. So, while the challenging retail climate exists, deploying facial recognition could quickly evolve from a nice to have to a necessity in the same way as CCTV did before it. The CO-OP must be commended for their pro-action in adopting the latest and some would argue the safest technology that lawfully protects the welfare of their employees and customers alike.

 

The truth is that there are no privacy concerns from the overwhelming majority of the general public. The interests of the law-abiding individual trumps all or should so in the moral public’s perception. It’s the sensational, alarmist and misrepresentative narrative repeatedly trotted out by civil liberty groups that aim to cause disruption and concern. This fanciful inference that your data will be secretly recorded and stored, that modern-day algorithms are severely inaccurate and innocent people will be flagged and recorded as criminals is complete nonsense, stated without any evidence and simply designed to cause alarm. Using terms to describe facial recognition as deeply chilling and more associated with the Stasi or dictatorships is an insult to responsible businesses who with complete transparency are aiming to protect the welfare and well being of their employees and customers. All this commentary is given without any insight whatsoever as to how private facial recognition (Facewatch) operates. It would do the civil liberty groups some good to get out of their ivory towers and spend some time in the very environments that Facewatch is deployed. Who knows, it may even lead to them demonstrate some understanding and empathy towards retail employees and the daily challenges they face in modern-day Britain, rather than championing the rights of violent offenders and thieves!

Protecting our customers and colleagues

Comment from Gareth Lewis, Loss prevention officer at the Southern Co-op

The current pandemic and a rise in retail crime are both presenting constant challenges for those of us in the convenience sector. At Southern Co-op, we are regularly adapting to the needs of our customers and colleagues to ensure they are as safe as they can be during the pandemic.

We also need to ensure that our stores function efficiently whilst still delivering high levels of customer service. One way to achieve this is through improved technology which we have been rolling out in a number of ways such as self-service checkouts, Amazon lockers and digital security solutions. Our approach is to find solutions that work for everyone.

In my role as the loss prevention and security manager, I have found that facial recognition is one such technology that has helped reduce theft in the stores where it is deployed.

We have completed a successful trial using Facewatch FR in a select number of stores where there is a higher level of crime.  All of our customers have been made aware with distinctive signage and we have introduced a system which does not store images of our customers unless they have been identified in relation to a crime. This ensures it is GDPR compliant whilst also allowing us to gather evidence against more prolific thieves in our stores before entering in discussions with the local police.

The system alerts our store teams immediately when someone enters their store who has a past record of theft or anti-social behaviour. It gives our teams time to decide on the best action which is incredibly important. Our teams have been trained to use the App and watch list software.

Of course, facial recognition is just one tool in a range of other tactics we are using to deter crime and prevent abuse. Southern Co-op’s Protecting Our People programme looks at crime from every angle – causes, prevention, reporting and justice. This includes £100,000 worth of grants to local organisations working to make our neighbourhoods safer. None of our colleagues should have to face threats of violence and we hope our work will help reduce future crime in our stores.

Co-op Copner Portsmouth
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David Davies, the technical director, of DVS goes on camera to explain the merits of Facewatch to their customers.  DVS were appointed by Facewatch just a few weeks ago to distribute Facewatch to the UK CCTV and security reseller market.

DVS will provide sales, support and training for Facewatch under a newly announced Facewatch Accredited Solutions Partner Program (ASP). This ensures that CCTV and security resellers will confidently be able to install, and support Facewatch in retail stores across the UK with total confidence:

 

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For more information on how to become a Facewatch ASAP please call DVS or the Facewatch team:

www.dvs.co.uk