BEHIND THE SOCIAL NETWORK

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Is social media making the jewellery industry safer?

Is social media making the jewellery industry safer?

BY JOHN LAMONT

Due to the fact that social media channels offer such an amazing way to spread information, it’s natural that Jewellers Vigilance Canada (JVC) would use social media to keep our members informed of existing jewellery crime. Because criminals have become much more mobile, it is important to use a media outlet that quickly reaches all parts of Canada. Information on a grab and run theft in Windsor can be sent through a JVC alert via email and reach all parts of Canada almost instantly—and how important would the picture of that suspect be if he was to walk into your business location?

Social media friendly

Police Departments also use social media tools to keep the public informed and connected. Police in Toronto, York Region, and other GTA jurisdictions use Twitter and Facebook to put out crime alerts. Surely social media is the loss prevention way forward. JVC is presently changing its jewellery crime website to make it more social media compliant. You will be able to read articles on cell phones without having to enlarge the text, or move back and forth to read the article. You will also be able to report jewellery crime and stolen merchandise to JVC by cell phone. Additionally, there will be articles and videos on Loss Prevention to keep readers educated. When completed, this website (www.jewellerycrimecanada.ca) will be a central clearing house for jewellery crime for members of the industry as well as law enforcement. Improvements on Facebook pages and using Twitter will greatly increase the awareness of crime in the industry.

The double-edged sword

Retail theft and street crimes are not new to law enforcement personnel or loss prevention specialists. What is new is how these crimes are being organized—by social media.

Gangs of retail thieves and street criminals are using smart phones, text messages, and other forms of social media to orchestrate criminal attacks. Although the threat may appear to outweigh the opportunity, the reality is that social media is here to stay and is only going to expand over the coming years. Loss prevention need to adapt to this and ensure they are utilizing social media to their advantage—we must stay one step ahead. We must make sure that all jewellers are aware of what is happening in their area and, in turn, they must share that information with other members of the industry.

Staying connected

The best way is to share information by email, tweets, or other social media tools. Knowledge is power and this knowledge will allow us all to better protect ourselves. Not sharing information gives the criminal the upper hand and encourages them to strike again.

By networking through social media, we all can build and maintain contacts and relationships with other people. The personal networks which you accumulate over time, both socially and professionally, are invaluable resources. This applies to entrepreneurs, individuals who are  looking for a new job, and people who simply require information for a project where external ideas and input can help. Social media can be a win-win for building your business as well as protecting your hard earned profits.

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