Private security companies see boom in industry because of shoplifting

More and more retailers across Winnipeg are turning to private security companies to help reduce shoplifting and threats against their staff.

Winnipeg police and Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries have started to clamp down on brazen liquor thefts, but the shoplifting isn’t just happening there. Retail stores have seen an increase in shoplifting at both grocery and clothing stores.

“They have to do something to retain some sort of control and mitigate the liability as much as they can, without endangering their own staff,” said Impact Security president Ron D’Errico.

Some retailers believe drugs may have something to do with the increase in thefts and violence towards their staff.

“They lean on private security companies to come in and alleviate some of that stress.”

The need for security guards is up 15 per cent compared to last year at Impact Security. The company expects that kind of growth to continue this year, as more private businesses look to reduce theft, and protect staff and customers from people under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

“We actually had to hire another HR person to help us with the growth we’re undergoing and our training classes have actually doubled in size in the past month, ” D’Errico said.

Some Winnipeggers say having security guards around is the new normal.

“I know they added a security guard in the Dollarama down the street over there and I do feel a lot safer going into there because there’s a lot of shoplifting that happens there,” one woman on Portage Avenue told Global News.

“There’s not enough police officers to go around so there’s security guards,” a man added.

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