By Erin Harris, associate editor
The National Association for Shoplifting Prevention's (NASP's) Say No To Shoplifting campaign encourages the retail community to prevent shoplifting by replacing the practice of "warn and release" for juvenile offenders with more substantive action that supports the criminal and juvenile justice community's ongoing efforts. Sharing this program with the retail community helps to ensure that a consistent message is sent to the youth who shoplift and that shoplifting is a crime and will be treated as such.
I had the opportunity to talk to Barbara Staib, director of communications at the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention about the Say No To Shoplifting campaign. First, Staib explained that the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention is a nationwide leader in shoplifting prevention efforts. Its core programs, which are educational programs for both adults and juveniles, set the standard for research-based shoplifting prevention programs throughout the country. As a nonprofit 501C3 organization, the group's mission is to raise public awareness of the harmful effects of shoplifting on families and communities, to unite public opinion toward constructive solutions for this issue, deliver the needed programs and services, and engage the retail community action in prevention effort. This will improve the lives of the people that are affected, both the victims of shoplifting and those who perpetuate this crime.
Staib stated that the Say No To Shoplifting campaign is one that grew out of NASP's need to take a look at juveniles and the future adults of our nation and address this issue at a time when kids are most receptive, which is right when they are caught shoplifting. The Say No To Shoplifting campaign is a website and a pamphlet program as well as a research portal to address the problem.
"There are very few resources out there on shoplifting prevention," says Staib. "This is the first program of its kind. We don't sensationalize shoplifting; we are not worried about the latest variation of shoplifting. What we need to do with this program is to help people understand how they can and need to reach out to their kids in this time, to change their shoplifting thoughts, attitudes, and hopefully their actions." As retailers, understanding this program and introducing it to your associates can help you reduce shoplifting attempts at your stores.
Retailers can learn more about this program by visiting the Say No To Shoplifting website at www.saynotoshoplifting.org. There you will find all the information, educational materials, and programs that are available.