Retailers and online marketplaces in California have come together to sign a new organised retail crime (ORC) agreement with the US state’s Justice Department.
California had already passed a package of legislation to address retail crime in 2022.
The new agreement is said to enhance the intent and purpose of the existing legislation. It is also expected to help improve collaboration on information sharing and the investigation of organised retail crime.
As part of the new agreement, the parties have agreed to implement specific steps to increase ORC detection and reporting.
Some of the actions include filing police reports for all ORC incidents by “brick-and-mortar” retailers, maintaining policies related to video retention of ORC-related incidents, personnel training and more.
Online marketplaces are required to maintain a dedicated webpage or point of contact to deal with law enforcement requests, internal written policies and external policies, which define marketplace rules.
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Both retailers and online marketplaces will maintain communications with each other to stay updated on the trends in ORC.
The commitment was announced by California Attorney General Rob Bonta.
Attorney General Rob Bonta said: “This new partnership signals a robust and genuine commitment shared by the retail marketplace and law enforcement to crack down on these crimes.
“Today’s announcement demonstrates California’s resilience and tenacity in tackling these challenges within our state. Whether it is law enforcement, online marketplaces, or retailers — we will not tolerate organised retail crime in our state.”
According to a 2020 survey by the National Retail Federation (NRF), US retailers lose more than $700,000 to organised retail crime per every $1bn in sales.
In April 2023, another report by the NRF revealed that everyday consumer goods are the major target of ORC groups.
Meanwhile, the coalition of retail organisations Californians Against Retail and Residential Theft (CARRT) argues that the Attorney General’s approach does not address the root cause.
In a statement, CARRT said: “His approach puts the onus on store owners and online marketplaces to follow a series of guidelines. However, nowhere does it mention law enforcement efforts.
“The Attorney General is the state’s top law enforcement officer and has left law enforcement out of the solution.
“Where is the push for more law enforcement resources to address this growing problem? Where is the call for more cops on the streets and greater punishment and rehabilitation programmes for criminals?”