Anna Leask is senior police reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Crime fighting software could prevent $2m of retail thefts

An Auckland-based company have developed software that streamlines crime reporting processes. Photo / File
An Auckland-based company have developed software that streamlines crime reporting processes. Photo / File

A new cloud-based crime reporting system could prevent up to $2 million of retail thefts every day.

Police have teamed up with Auckland-based company Auror who developed software that streamlines crime reporting processes.

The software will be rolled out nationally after successful trials in Counties Manukau and Canterbury.

The software enables retailers to complete incident reports and provide relevant information to police about thefts including shoplifting and petrol drive offs, and other incidents.

The information can be shared between retailers to prevent further offending.

A Police National Headquarters spokeswoman said all information shared through the Auror portal was automatically forwarded to the police crime reporting line.

Retailers were saved a trip to their local police station to file a report but it was still received and investigated.

"As well as images of offenders, retailers can provide vehicle registrations, images of associates, modus operandi, products targeted, time, day and location," the spokeswoman said.

"Behind the scenes, Auror provides relevant intelligence to police to assist in effective and efficient retail crime prevention. This allows police to detect offence and offender patterns, and to target repeat offenders -- often for offences spanning across police districts."

Auror was trialled by Counties Manukau and Canterbury police before being rolled out nationally.

"Both districts noted ongoing savings in time and money for both retailers and police, and a reduction in retailers' losses and victimisation," said the spokeswoman.

"An example of Auror is the apprehension of a recidivist offender, who had 35 convictions for shoplifting and trespass offences between 2013 and early 2015. With the assistance of Auror he was identified for 20 further offences via CCTV which also linked him to vehicles and co-offenders."

Auror spokesman Kevin Ptak said the cloud-based platform allowed users to connect the dots in real-time around high-volume crimes like shoplifting, which cost New Zealand retailers over $2 million every day.

"Over the last two years, we have worked closely with the police and businesses to identify where we can improve the process of reporting, preventing and solving crime in real-time," said Auror chief executive Phil Thomson.

"We are really excited about the early successes we've seen by allowing effective collaboration between the police and our communities."

Deputy Commissioner Mike Clement said police were "always looking at ways to work closely with retailers to identify issues and prevent crime together in the community".

"The Auror platform has been used by police to prioritise high-risk offenders and more effectively deploy our resources to respond to high-volume crime."

- NZ Herald

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