Halton Retail Stores Could be Getting Safer

Halton retail stores could be getting safer with the help of Halton Police.

The Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) has a new tool to help identify suspects of retail thefts occurring in the Region, according to a recent news release.

The HRPS is the first service in the province to leverage a website dubbed 'Retail C.O.P.' (Cameras on Patrol).

Images of suspects are uploaded to the secure site, along with brief suspect descriptions. The images are generally gathered from retail store surveillance cameras.

Loss prevention officers are then provided access to the website with the hope of identifying suspects. Any tips are sent to the HRPS Retail Theft Unit for investigation.

To date, the HRPS has invited and trained more than 100 loss prevention officers from across Ontario to take part in the program.

"The reception has been fantastic," Inspector Bob Gourley, 3 District Operations, said in a recent news release.

"By tapping into the knowledge and experience of the loss prevention officers on the ground in stores across Halton we are taking advantage of a previously underutilized resource."

Retail theft costs Canadians four billion dollars a year, impacting consumers.

This year to date, there have been more than one thousand occurrences of retail theft reported to police in Halton.

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