Successful crime prevention increasingly involves partnerships between police forces and private security companies. Blackbird Security was proud to play a role in a recent crackdown on retail theft in Vancouver, assisting beleaguered small business owners fight back against a rise in shoplifting and violent crimes.
Reversing a Worrying Crime Trend
In Vancouver, retail theft continues to increase. Between January 1st and October 15th of 2021, Vancouver Police Department recorded 844 violent shoplifting cases across the city, a 12-per-cent increase from the 752 cases recorded during the same time period in 2020. This rise represents a small example of the issues business owners have faced across the city in recent years. Thefts involving weapons such as knives, needles and bear spray have increased more than five-fold since 2019. Alongside this worrying trend, commercial thefts have also increased by 126 per cent in the same time period.
“This is a very big concern, not only for us … but we are hearing from people in the business community that not only are they losing thousands of dollars a day to thieves, but they also have workers who are fearful and afraid of coming to work because of the violent incidents they’ve seen,” said Vancouver Police Department spokesman Sgt. Steve Addison at a news briefing.
Clearly, this trend needs to be reversed, and Blackbird Security was proud to work alongside local law enforcement in fighting back against these alarming crimes.
Boost and Bust – Fighting Back Against Retail Theft
Earlier this year, Blackbird Security worked alongside Vancouver Police Department in the pioneering Project Arrow. This month-long public-private initiative enlisted business owners, loss prevention staff and private security to fight back against retail theft. Within a month, 130 shoplifters were arrested, 35 weapons were seized, and a total of 268 criminal charges were laid.
The program proved so successful, Vancouver Police Department decided to take similar action earlier this month, bringing together the city’s security fraternity to combine forces and tackle the problem once more. Over a weekend of dedicated law enforcement efforts, Blackbird Security’s loss prevention experts participated in a program that saw 32 individuals arrested, 71 criminal charges recommended, and nearly $18,000 worth of stolen goods recovered. Nearly half of the individuals arrested for shoplifting this weekend admitted to police they planned to sell the stolen goods on the black market.
How Blackbird Security Helped During Boost and Bust
We couldn’t be prouder of the role our dedicated security professionals played during the recent Boost and Bust campaign. Acting as frontline points of contact for law enforcement, our loss prevention officers provided discreet surveillance, intercepted thefts as they occurred, and held shoplifters until Vancouver Police Department officers could arrive to make arrests. Engaging in public/private partnerships such as Boost and Bust is a sign of the trust and mutually beneficial partnerships Blackbird Security engages in with law enforcement agencies across Canada. We believe our industry leading training program, Blackbird Academy, is one of the foundational pillars of these relationships.
The Role of Blackbird Academy
Our security guards, loss prevention officers and tactical guards receive Canada’s most comprehensive private security training through our industry leading Blackbird Academy.
Our goal isn’t just to equip our guards with the skills they need to succeed in the fast-paced world of private security. Instead, we want to train our staff to excel and grow into a lifelong career in security or law enforcement. This approach has seen many of our staff graduate to working for local law enforcement and RCMP across Canada.
Local Focus, National Outlook
As Vancouver makes strides in dealing with a growing shoplifting problem, we are keenly aware of the need for similar action in other Canadian cities like Victoria, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina and Winnipeg. Blackbird Security continues to support our national retail partners such as Sephora, Shoppers Drug Mart, Best Buy and MEC in each of these locations with loss prevention specialists and tactical uniform security guards.
While we provide professional security services in a growing number of markets, we will always remain dedicated to tailoring customized security solutions based on their market and unique needs.
Here to Help
Blackbird Security is Western Canada’s fastest growing security company. If you’re looking to partner with us for Retail Security, Loss Prevention, or one of our other specialized security services, we’d love to hear from you! If we can assist you in any way at this time, please Contact Us and we’ll be there for you.