In my last month’s editorial column I had mentioned that with temperatures soaring beyond 45 degrees Celsius in the NCR area, it becomes impossible to think and work consistently as power and water supplies becomes erratic, leading to disruption of schedules and low efficiency in the workplace. As a result, I decided to take a break for a few days and drove into the Uttarakhand hills to spend a few days in a resort, beyond Chamba, perched at a cool 8500 feet above sea level.
While driving there and crossing the cities of Roorkee, Haridwar and Rishikesh I observed that many new commercial premises and hotels had come up beside the road. I do not wish to refer to this road as the National Highway 58, as I personally don’t think that it qualifies for that status – at most places it is still a single lane in either direction! Given the amount of traffic that plies on this stretch carrying millions of pilgrims and holiday makers to the ‘Char Dham’ and tourist attractions in the summer months, the Government has done very little to augment the infrastructure in this region. Watching the rampant construction of buildings perched dangerously on the edges of the hills invoked “What if” thoughts in my mind. I imagined an earth quake, as many areas of Uttarakhand lie in earthquake-prone zones. Little did I know that four days later disaster would strike in the form of floods, washing away these buildings and killing thousands of locals, pilgrims and tourists.
I hope that a lesson is learnt from this calamity and we as a nation can inculcate a sense of safety in our minds while approving or building structures in disaster prone areas.
In this issue of SECURITY TODAY we touch upon the losses that are faced by the Retail Industry. As per statistics compiled by the US based National Association for Shoplifting Prevention, more than $13 billion worth of goods are stolen from retailers each year. That’s more than $35 million per day! The vast majority of shoplifters are “non-professionals” who steal, not out of criminal intent, financial need or greed but as a response to social and personal pressures in their lives. The excitement generated from “getting away with it” produces a chemical reaction resulting in what shoplifters describe as an incredible “rush” or “high” feeling. Many shoplifters will tell you that this high is their “true reward,” rather than the merchandise itself.
Peter Berlin says, “Shoplifting, for millions, is simply another maladaptive way of coping with stressful life circumstances…similar to overeating, drinking, drugs or gambling. It is not an issue of good vs. bad people, rich vs. poor, young vs. old or education vs. illiteracy. At any time, or even many times in a person’s life, the temptation to “get something for nothing” and the desire to reward oneself can easily be present.” By raising public awareness about the problem and delivering needed programs and services to people who shoplift, communities who engage in prevention efforts will reduce the number of people who become involved in such criminal activity and improve the quality of life for all.
Till we meet next month,
Cheers & Happy Reading
Editor, Security Today