National Association for Shoplifting Prevention: A Good Resource?

I have recently been talking with Barbara Staib from the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention (NASP) about their program  They are very interested in working retailers on the issue of shoplifting.  Their services are free to the retailers and offer options on dealing with both adult and juvenile shoplifters.  Some practitioners might think that NASP is “soft” or shoplifters or that they are a twelve-step program.  This is not true.

NASP can work with you whether you prosecute shoplifters or whether you release them.  In a day and age where it is getting harder and harder to get police response and prosecute shoplifting cases, especially juveniles, there program may have something to offer.  If you’d like more information, you can visit their website or email Barbara directly at nasp@shopliftingprevention.org.  I would also note that they have a lot of statistical information about shoplifters and shoplifting.

3 Responses to National Association for Shoplifting Prevention: A Good Resource?
  1. Keith Wemm
    August 18, 2009 | 3:53 PM

    Interesting topic. I will have to review their programs. We are hosting a Webinar on a similar topic on 8/20/09. There is shoplifting deterrent program that is being tested in Florida. It doesn’t seem like the best solution and we are looking for input and ideas for alternatives.

  2. Richard Alvarez
    August 20, 2009 | 8:17 PM

    I personally have never supported such organizations. In most cases you are required to meet with the juvenile, without compensation to your employer. The “mediation” meeting takes up more time than you have already invested in the case.

    Second, I believe that by participating in such programs you begin to foster the belief in your community that if you’re involved in a shoplifting incident that there’s an opportunity for you to avoid criminal prosecution. It’s a no win situation for the employer.

    I once suggested to this type of company my willingness to partner with them as a guest speaker in schools to try to curb this problem before it begins. They were not enthusiastic about the idea. This reaffirmed my position in not working with them in cases involving my employer at the time.

  3. Barbara Staib
    August 21, 2009 | 3:11 PM

    I believe what Mr. Alvarez is referring to is not NASP but a juvenile justice initiative called Community Mediation which is part of the Restorative Justice process in our nation. Mediation can be time consuming but can also be valuable in helping kids understand the retailer’s perspective of shoplifting.

    However, this is not the type of program that NASP is offering to retailers and that Mr. Palmer is discussing in his post. NASP programs have for decades, been utilized as a sanction by law enforcement and criminal justice professionals to hold shoplifting offenders accountable, build their competency and reduce repeat offenses. We are now offering retailers the opportunity to reap the benefit of utilizing these same proven-effective programs with every offender they apprehend whether they prosecute or not.

    The plan for the retail community to use NASP’s education programs is straightforward and free; the offenders themselves are responsible for the nominal program tuition fee. Participating is as simple as having the LP officer provide a Parent Information and Support Pamphlet to the parents of juvenile offenders upon apprehension. By doing so, retailers are providing the parent with a resource to help them deal with their child’s shoplifting, providing a community service by using education to prevent the next offense and most importantly holding the offender accountable and building their competency which prevents repeat offenses. In fact, a recent study of NASP’s juvenile program (the Y.E.S. Program) conducted by King County Superior Court Partnership for Youth Justice in Seattle, WA found it to be “an extraordinarily effective intervention for reducing shoplifting in the community as well as reducing criminal behavior in general.”

    As for retailers getting a reputation for being soft on crime in their community, NASP does not recommend this program be used in lieu of prosecution or to replace your current policies. We do however strongly recommend that, whether it is through prosecution (where the court takes the lead on educating the offender) or through direct contact with the parent and family, retailers facilitate the education process every time an offender is identified. This is essential. It is also an opportunity to turn a negative customer contact into a positive learning experience for the child and thus increase the ROI on every apprehension. If you release an offender without taking action to reduce the chance of a repeat offense, what’s the point?

    With regard to volunteering to speak in schools, we wholeheartedly support this and are in the process of raising funding for the Honest to Goodness Project – a set of youth shoplifting prevention and character building programs designed to reduce the number of kids who become involved in shoplifting and increase the number of kids who become honest adults, honest consumers and honest employees in our future workforce. Anyone interested in volunteering is welcome to call me at 800-848-9595 to join the Honest to Goodness Speakers Bureau. Once the funding is in place, the program will be available to communities and retailer nationwide.

    Retail LP professionals are welcome to contact me at bcstaib@shopliftingprevention.org