SA Police steals win at 2023 Australian Fraud Awards

A South Australia Police (SAPOL) initiative titled ‘Operation Measure’ which targets retail shop theft has been recognised with a national award winning the Best Retailer and Policing Collaboration Award at the 2023 Australian Fraud Awards on 9 February 2023.

Operation Measure has been operating since March 2022 and over that time has resulted in the arrest of more than 500 people.

As a partnership model, Operation Measure has seen SAPOL working closely with Crime Stoppers, multiple retailers, loss prevention managers, security and operations managers to apprehend persons responsible for repeat retail thefts and violence against retail workers.

The Australian Fraud Awards are held in high regard amongst the retail and security industry and recognise exceptional performance on a national level. Multiple retail managers nominated SAPOL for the Best Retailer and Policing Collaboration Award. SAPOL was nominated in the category alongside Victoria Police and Coles for their organised retail crime operation in Melbourne and Woolworths Central Investigations.

Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Correctional Services, Joe Szacaks said to see SAPOL recognised on a nationwide scale and take the win is a testament to the tireless work our officers and staff undertake every day to be the best they can be.

“Retail theft is a totally intolerable offence and anyone considering shoplifting will be caught.”

“I’m incredibly proud of SAPOL’s efforts with the Operation Measure campaign and know they are deserving winners of this national award,” said Minister Szacaks.

Coordinator of Operation Measure, Inspector Julian Coram said the success of Operation Measure was underpinned by the partnership between agencies.

“Operation Measure was a true collaboration, the communication between police and retailers has meant that we have been able to identify the persons responsible for the thefts and quickly identify offending patterns. Working together has meant that we have been able to achieve positive outcomes and hold offenders to account.”

“Many of the investigations were complex, seeing offenders arrested for a series of offences across multiple sites. In addition to thefts, many of the offenders were responsible for multiple other offences over the same period. Support from the public helped to identify previously unknown offenders through Crime Stoppers information.

“It has been an honour to lead an operation which strives to keep communities and in particular, our retail workers safe, “said Inspector Coram.

Crime Stoppers SA CEO, Nigel Smart said Crime Stoppers welcomed the opportunity to partner with SAPOL to encourage the community to anonymously share information about retail theft and those responsible.

“Retail theft is a crime that affects everyone in the community and impacts on business confidence. Not only has the leadership demonstrated by SAPOL been formally recognised through this award win, but also other police services are actively looking at how they can replicate the best practice approach of Operation Measure to tackle shoplifting and apprehend recidivist thieves,” said Mr Smart.

Operation Measure continues to monitor theft trends and offenders.

Photo above left to right: Yen Dinh (Auror), Sianne Hussey, (Auror), Katarina Demasi (Drakes Supermarkets), Alana Tozer (Auror), Senior Constable Michael Greenwood, Senior Constable Andrew Bishop-Spalding, Andrew Kouimanis (Auror), Austin Craddock (Coles Supermarkets) and Paul Grosvenor (Big W Stores) at the 2023 Australian Fraud Awards.

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