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Retailers Against Crime at ST19 Glasgow

Maxine Fraser, pictured, is a return speaker to the next event in the Security TWENTY series. ST19 Glasgow runs at the Hilton in William Street in downtown Glasgow, the same venue as previous years, on Tuesday, April 30.

The morning conference runs from 10am until lunchtime, when attenders can enjoy a free hot buffet lunch. To briefly set the scene for Maxine, she heads Retailers Against Crime (RAC), founded in 1997, the Stirling-based not for profit crime partnership. While members are in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the north west of England, RAC offers a nationwide service, because as Maxine stresses, RAC members report bulk theft (such as of easily sellable goods such as alcohol or DVDs), ATM fraud, fraudulent payments, and trolley push-outs (that is, the thieves filling a trolley with things and brazenly leaving without paying), besides what you might call the typical shoplifting.

Organised crime groups (OCGs) are prolific around the UK, as internationally, crime being their ‘profession’ or ‘job’, she points out. About 40 per cent of incidents reported to RAC are attributed to organised criminals, often working in groups, with specialised tasks. Some members may distract staff while thefts are carried out. Specialised equipment, such as de-taggers and foil-lined bags are in use; RAC can offer training to members’ staff in what to look out for. RAC reports evidence of theft for immediate refund. Stolen stock is often sold on at markets, online or on social media sites. Stock is also ‘stolen to order’.

In short, shop theft is not a victimless crime, because retailers raise prices to make ends meet; and in any case, as the sector is saying, and was most recently featured in the annual British Retail Consortium annual crime survey, thieves are increasingly resorting to intimidation and violence out of proportion to the perhaps relatively meagre gains from a theft or robbery.

Other invited speakers with a Scottish flavour are David Scott, of New College Lanarkshire, the premier college in the country in terms of numbers of fire and security engineer apprentices, talking about what’s in apprenticeships for installers and manufacturers, and the wider sector; and Les Allen, head of safety and security at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, who’s the Scottish regional chairman of the association of university chiefs of security, Aucso.

Any ST event is free to attend, whether you’re an installer, security manager, consultant or specifier, or just someone interested in getting up to date on the private security industry – visit You can turn up on the day, but we ask that you sign up beforehand, to help us gauge numbers for catering.

Attenders can enjoy bacon butties (for the earliest arrivals – doors to the exhibition open around 8.30am), mid-morning tea and coffee, and a hot buffet lunch (pictured are the cakes for afters, last year; they were as good at they look!).

After Glasgow, the next stops in 2019 for ST are Manchester (Tuesday, July 2) then Belfast and Dublin on the Tuesday and Thursday of the same week (September 3 and 5) and as ever the last of the year, at Heathrow, on Thursday, November 7. Details at


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