The Art of a Good Security Stop


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The Art of a Good Security Stop

The ability for a security officer to make successful stops within the retail industry has a direct link to client and customer satisfaction. Cordant Security has always taken this aspect of security as a priority when training our officers.

But why is this important to the retail sector and our clients? 

The recent statistics published by the British Retail Consortium show that Retail Crime is actually a growing problem.

Retail crime had a direct cost of £660 million to the industry in 2016. That’s up from £613 million just last year. The majority of that cost comes from ‘customer’ theft at £438 million.

As a security business one of our main objectives is obviously to reduce this figure relative to our client base. Our officers must tread a thin line to reduce shrinkage on one side but keep customers happy on the other.

Within retail security one of the sources for complaints is that of a bad stop by a security officer. Its understandable that being ‘accused’ by an officer in such a public space can be distressing. 

The answer to this in theory is simple - ensure all officers follow ASCONE religiously.

A- approach - The Officer must approach the area the suspect is in
S- selection - The Officer must witnesses the suspect select and take an item from a display
C- concealment - The item taken is hidden on the person (pocket, etc.), in a bag, pushchair, or carried in open view
O- observation - The Officer must observe the activities of the suspect at all times
N- non-payment - The Officer must witnesses the suspect make no attempt to pay for the selected goods
E- exiting - The suspect exits the store
But the reality is that bad stops can happen for a variety of reasons, so how do we ensure ASCONE is followed?


1. Training

Robust initial training is the foundation, but what does this training look like? Is a powerpoint or paper based session a rich enough media for this? I would argue video and scenario based training is more appropriate.

2. Training, training and more training

Given it is such a fundamental aspect of retail guarding repeat training delivered on a regular basis is required so that this particular skill is perfected.

3. Management engagement 

Regular meetings between the officer and management is essential to review site activities and constantly upskill and develop our officers

4. Knowledge to hand

We provide our officers with miniature booklets that contain our training techniques and policies so if they need to remind themselves they can

If you want to find out more about our security services you can download our Security Brochure here or visit our website at


BRC (2016) -

BRC (2015) -