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Old 04-17-2010, 07:55 PM   #1
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Unpaid Security Work

Wondering if you guys in law enforcement and security can give some insights:

I'm thinking of standing around at the store that belongs to my gf's family to watch out for/deter shoplifters. It will be a few hours a week, unpaid (I'm doing this out of the goodness of my heart/brownie points ).

Do I need BST/a security licence?

If I wear a windbreaker that says "security" should I worry about impersonation/licensing problems?

Thanks a lot!

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Old 04-17-2010, 09:04 PM   #2
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as long as it doesnt say "POLICE" i dont see how you could be caught on anything... i dont think there is any law against impersonating a security guard...
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Old 04-18-2010, 07:54 AM   #3
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Old 04-18-2010, 08:02 AM   #4
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just stand there anyways and greet people, OR do what tnt does and they hire middle age men to walk the store they pretend to be shoppers but really they're looking out for shoplifters.
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Old 04-18-2010, 08:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
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just stand there anyways and greet people, OR do what tnt does and they hire middle age men to walk the store they pretend to be shoppers but really they're looking out for shoplifters.
haha is that true.. thats sooo funny..
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Old 04-18-2010, 08:57 AM   #6
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im pretty sure if you just stand at the front doors and greet ppl they will be aware that theres some type of security...

OR put up FAKE cameras... just the dome so it looks like theres a camera inside but its just nothing...
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Old 04-18-2010, 09:07 AM   #7
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just stand there anyways and greet people, OR do what tnt does and they hire middle age men to walk the store they pretend to be shoppers but really they're looking out for shoplifters.
Loss Prevention Officers (LPOs).. and I'm pretty sure they receive some training..
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Old 04-18-2010, 01:37 PM   #8
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Really?....

So you're going to stand at the front of the store "Pretending" to be security for brownie points. So what are you going to do if there is a problem or a shoplifter?

If you find a shoplifter do you what to do? Do you know what the elements of the offence are? Where and when the shoplifter will be arrestable?

If you run into an incident, you have no training. I doubt you know your powers of arrest or have any equipment for that matter. What's going to happen is you're going to make an unlawful arrest and then get sued.


The only thing you could do if you wanted to do this is stand there with a cell phone and if there's a problem call 911.
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Old 04-18-2010, 02:37 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the replies!

Brad Fuel are you a Security Officer? Are you suggesting Security Officers have more arrest powers than an ordinary citizen?
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Old 04-18-2010, 03:27 PM   #10
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^ citizens arrest. That's all you can do, and I think security officers can only arrest under that regulation as they are not considered to be peace officers.
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Old 04-18-2010, 03:27 PM   #11
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No I am not a security officer

Security Officers do not have more power than an ordinary citizen. Their authority is based on the same section in the Criminal Code. S.494 CC. The difference is they have had training so (hopefully) they know their and the arrestee's rights. Correct me if I'm wrong but you do not have that sort of knowledge.
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Old 04-18-2010, 06:28 PM   #12
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Yea, in the event that duty calls, you might find yourself in more trouble than good. Why not just strap on a name tag/uniform and hit the aisles. This way there's an extra set of eyes on the floor and you can get even more brownie points for actually helping out.
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Old 04-18-2010, 11:52 PM   #13
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Thank you! Gonna listen to you guys.
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Old 04-19-2010, 12:50 AM   #14
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If you're a security representative of a business you have to know a few things


1) You have to be licensed. If someone (police officer, security agency) checks your credentials and you're not licensed you'll receive a fine as well as the business. You'll also be ineligible to become a licensed security professional in the future.

2) In the event that you have to apprehend someone as a security officer you'll likely have to go to court. After turning over the suspect to the police and getting your fine (see 1) you'll also watch the suspect walk because of the nature of their arrest and your lack of credentials

3) If someone gets hurt as a result of your actions the store's insurance won't cover you. You can be liable in civil court for personal injury.



Honestly man, do NOT pick up a security hat, jacket, or shirt from a military surplus store and wear it. Its asking for trouble. The best thing you can do is be a presence in the store that APPEARS like security but in NO OFFICIAL WAY IS.



Oh, and as for my credentials: I have Basic and Advanced security certification and licensing. (That means I know when you can and cannot use handcuffs in your line of work)
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Old 04-20-2010, 03:10 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Bastardo View Post
If you're a security representative of a business you have to know a few things


1) You have to be licensed. If someone (police officer, security agency) checks your credentials and you're not licensed you'll receive a fine as well as the business. You'll also be ineligible to become a licensed security professional in the future.

2) In the event that you have to apprehend someone as a security officer you'll likely have to go to court. After turning over the suspect to the police and getting your fine (see 1) you'll also watch the suspect walk because of the nature of their arrest and your lack of credentials

Sounds advice. Thank you!
3) If someone gets hurt as a result of your actions the store's insurance won't cover you. You can be liable in civil court for personal injury.



Honestly man, do NOT pick up a security hat, jacket, or shirt from a military surplus store and wear it. Its asking for trouble. The best thing you can do is be a presence in the store that APPEARS like security but in NO OFFICIAL WAY IS.



Oh, and as for my credentials: I have Basic and Advanced security certification and licensing. (That means I know when you can and cannot use handcuffs in your line of work)
Sound advice, thank you El Bastardo!
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Old 04-20-2010, 03:48 PM   #16
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Sorry for jacking your thread for a question, OP.

Hey EB,

I have a family store. Say I catch someone in the act of shoplifting what can I do to said person? Like if you catch someone and they know you saw them shoplifting and they put it back and leave, am I allowed to stop them (as an employee)? Or if they denied they shoplifted, do I have the right to search their jackets/bags? And for any of these instances am I allowed to apprehend them till police arrive? Lastly what will the police do?

Not to sound racist but a majority of the shoplifters are elderly EI people. When we catch them in the act they play the dumb card and say they didn't know, and/or it was broken or damaged anyways, or that it was just on the floor. The items in question are plants from our nursery.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-20-2010, 08:25 PM   #17
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Sorry for jacking your thread for a question, OP.

Hey EB,

I have a family store. Say I catch someone in the act of shoplifting what can I do to said person? Like if you catch someone and they know you saw them shoplifting and they put it back and leave, am I allowed to stop them (as an employee)? Or if they denied they shoplifted, do I have the right to search their jackets/bags? And for any of these instances am I allowed to apprehend them till police arrive? Lastly what will the police do?

Not to sound racist but a majority of the shoplifters are elderly EI people. When we catch them in the act they play the dumb card and say they didn't know, and/or it was broken or damaged anyways, or that it was just on the floor. The items in question are plants from our nursery.

Thanks in advance.

If you see someone pocket something and you decide to stop them before they leave the store premises, then you will not be able to charge them with shoplifting, they must leave store premises to be a valid charge.

If you see someone pocket something, you should keep your eyes on them and make sure 100% that they have stolen something before you detain them. If you don't find anything on them, they can turn around and sue the company for unlawful detainment.

When you have detained someone for shoplifting, you cannot search them or search their bags, you can however tell them to take everything out of their pockets, empty the bags, etc.

With shoplifting, most places will just take a photo of the bastard, take down their info and place a ban on that person from returning, otherwise if you want to press further, call the cops and press charges.
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Old 04-20-2010, 08:39 PM   #18
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I have a family store. Say I catch someone in the act of shoplifting what can I do to said person? Like if you catch someone and they know you saw them shoplifting and they put it back and leave, .
First off this is not considered shoplifting. You can verbally stop them to prevent the theft but if they haven't left the store there is no offence comitted.

Since you have a family store your authority would be S.494(2)CC. You can only arrest if you find someone committing an offence and it has to be in relation to your store.

If you do decide to go balls out and arrest someone, you SHALL FORTHWITH turn them over to the Police. S.494(3)CC

Lastly, no you probably can't search them since you're Joe Schmoe. The search must be reasonable. If you're looking for stolen goods in their bag, that's considered evidence and it's considered unreasonable. R v. Lerke (1986)

When Police get their they're going to talk to you to find out what happened. You're gonna say blah blah blah. Cop is gonna say okay unlawful arrest let him go.
Or you know your stuff and the Cop will arrest him using S.495CC which has a lot more power. The Cop will charter and warn the arrested properly and then a search will be done and you'll get your family plants back.
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Old 04-20-2010, 08:59 PM   #19
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^ Thanks both of you, I was going to thank you with the button too but apparently we can't in the Police Forum.

I think the best thing for me to do is what tacobell suggested and take a picture of the person with their info. Btw, if I ask for ID or something to take down their info are they allowed to refuse?

The dollar value of the goods being stolen are never that much anyways.

And when you say they have to leave the store premises, does that include the parking lot (since it is all on the same property and owned by the store owner)?
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Old 04-20-2010, 09:15 PM   #20
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Yeah they are allowed to refuse. If you have a security camera and a sign on the door stating that customers are under surveillance it would be implied consent that their image will be captured.
That image, in turn, is property of the storekeeper and can be reproduced (within reason) for non-commercial purposes.

Basically it means that if the customer enters the store they know they're on camera. If they get caught doing crazy shit or even suspected the owner can post a pic saying "Suspect!" in plain (and embarrassing) view.


Oh, and the problem isn't mainly with elderly EI people. Its with elderly people in general
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Old 04-20-2010, 09:52 PM   #21
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Yes they can refuse to identify themselves. There is no such offence as "Obstructing a civilian" but there is "Obstructing a Peace Officer"
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Old 04-20-2010, 10:18 PM   #22
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And when you say they have to leave the store premises, does that include the parking lot (since it is all on the same property and owned by the store owner)?
Okay start from the beginning. Shoplifting is theft. Theft is defined in S.322CC. Take a look at it. The actual charge offence is S.334CC though.

Shoplifting is basically a spin off of it but the elements are very simple.

1) Colour of Right - basically you're a store so it's common knowledge stuff is for sale in there not free for the taking. The stuff belongs to the store.

2) Takes or Converts - using the item for whatever purpose, pretty simple.

3) Intent - must have the intention to take the item.

#1 and #2 are very straight forward and easy to prove because it's common knowledge. #3 is difficult and where ppl screw up including a lot of LPO's. You have to prove that the douche bag intended to steal your plants. Since douche bag is not going to say "Yes I wanted to steal your plants", you will not satisfy mens rea.

So to satisfy the element of intent there are 3 other elements: (I'll use ABC so not to confuse)

A) Select the Item - bad guy must pick up the plant himself

B) Conceal the Item - bad guy puts it in his jacket or bag so you can't see it

C) Leaves the Store - bad guy must have had reasonable opportunity to pay for the item. This is why LPO's arrest outside of the store. Douche bag will have walked by the cashier without paying. This is the one ppl screw up on.


So in summary: A+B+C = Intent
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Old 04-20-2010, 11:26 PM   #23
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In addition, if you don't have proper training or knowledge of making a citizen's arrest, please do not attempt to, often enough, the outcome of the incident is alot worse than having not initiated at all. Sometimes it's better to let that $5-$10 value of merchandise walk out of the store rather than risk getting sued thousands of dollars for a FA (False Arrest).

If you see a theft in progress, or a sketchy person in your store. Just greet them, your presence and acknowledgment that they're being observed is usually enough to prevent them to shoplift.

If that doesn't work, continue with performing customer service, follow that suspect around (at a reasonable distance). If they didn't intend to steal, they wouldn't mind at all, if they feel they've been spooked, they will walk out of the store or drop the merchandises.

If you see a suspect select, and conceal a merchandise (pair of blue jeans, for example), just walk up to the suspect, and politely ask if they need any assistance, for example, "Ma'am/Sir, I know a t-shirt that will go very well with that pair of jeans you've selected", If they don't shit in their pants at this point forward, come back and complain to me. :P

These are some of the techniques that I teach my staff on a daily basis and it should work in most retail environments. Hope that helped.

I'm a Loss Prevention Officer/Private Investigator with BST, AST, and Private Investigatior Licence.

Last edited by willystyle; 04-21-2010 at 12:02 AM.
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Old 04-20-2010, 11:35 PM   #24
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I used to love my old boss... surprised that she never got sued though..

She would see some junkie come into the store... grab a handful of T-shirts.. stuff them into their jacket or pants, or bag, whatever... So she'd walk over.. grab them, open up their shirt, grab the shirts back... then tell them to GTFO of the store and never come back.

Of course.. these are people who probably had criminal records as long as their arms.. so they weren't exactly the most likely to call the cops on her.. lol..

I used to let them leave the store.. then grab 'em outside. Charged many.. only had to attend court once, and I had all my ducks in a row... thankfully.
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Old 04-20-2010, 11:35 PM   #25
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Thanks for all the replies!

Brad Fuel are you a Security Officer? Are you suggesting Security Officers have more arrest powers than an ordinary citizen?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Fuel View Post
Okay start from the beginning. Shoplifting is theft. Theft is defined in S.322CC. Take a look at it. The actual charge offence is S.334CC though.

Shoplifting is basically a spin off of it but the elements are very simple.

1) Colour of Right - basically you're a store so it's common knowledge stuff is for sale in there not free for the taking. The stuff belongs to the store.

2) Takes or Converts - using the item for whatever purpose, pretty simple.

3) Intent - must have the intention to take the item.

#1 and #2 are very straight forward and easy to prove because it's common knowledge. #3 is difficult and where ppl screw up including a lot of LPO's. You have to prove that the douche bag intended to steal your plants. Since douche bag is not going to say "Yes I wanted to steal your plants", you will not satisfy mens rea.

So to satisfy the element of intent there are 3 other elements: (I'll use ABC so not to confuse)

A) Select the Item - bad guy must pick up the plant himself

B) Conceal the Item - bad guy puts it in his jacket or bag so you can't see it

C) Leaves the Store - bad guy must have had reasonable opportunity to pay for the item. This is why LPO's arrest outside of the store. Douche bag will have walked by the cashier without paying. This is the one ppl screw up on.


So in summary: A+B+C = Intent
You forgot continuity.

4 ELEMENTS OF ARREST

1. Selection
2. Concealment
3. 100% Continuity
4. Exit Without Payment
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