WASHINGTON — Three major trade groups announced today a plan to launch an enhanced version of the Law Enforcement Retail Partnership Network (LERPnet), a national database that allows retailers to share information on organized retail crime (ORC).
In response to the rise in ORC, the Food Marketing Institute, National Retail Federation and Retail Industry Leaders Association collaborated with the FBI to create LERPnet in 2007. Since then, retailers have used the system to share information on retail theft and other critical incidents among themselves and in collaboration with law enforcement.
"Organized theft rings steal billions of dollars of merchandise every year, victimizing retailers, endangering the safety of retail employees, and raising the price of consumer goods," said Joe LaRocca, vice president of loss prevention for NRF, in a statement. "We've built a strong alliance with retailers, and we're building on a strong platform while applying the lessons that we've all learned in the last five years to strengthen the message to criminals: We will not tolerate your behavior, and we will stop you."
Lisa LaBruno, vice president of loss prevention and legal affairs for RILA, added, "By strengthening LERPnet and enhancing its functionality, retailers and law enforcement can leverage recent technological advances to further protect our stores, our brands, our employees, and — most important — our customers."
"LERPnet has demonstrated the potential for retailers and law enforcement to identify and respond to a variety of theft patterns while making connections between events not easily identified by a single retailer," said Rhett Asher, vice president of industry relations for FMI. "LERPnet 2.0 will allow retailers and law enforcement to fully realize this potential."
The ISO Crime Analytics unit of Verisk Analytics is developing and will manage LERPnet 2.0.
Retailers lose more than $30 billion dollars annually to theft and loss, resulting in decreased profits, higher prices, and safety concerns for retail employees and customers. According to the 2010 NRF ORC Survey, 89% of retailers said they have been victimized by organized retail crime and 59% say the problem has increased.
More information about LERPnet can be found at www.lerpnet2.com.