Defining ORC Investigation
The term Organized Retail Crime (ORC) Investigation is truly a methodology for resolving ORC allegations from the initiation of the investigation to the final disposition. ORC Investigations involve obtaining evidence, gathering intelligence, taking statements, conducting surveillance, writing reports, testifying, and aiding in the discovery and deterrence of organized retail crime.
Obtaining Evidence and Taking Statements
Evidence of ORC typically takes the shape of documents, CCTV, surveillance, and statements. As such the ORC investigator must know how legally obtain evidence, conduct surveillance’s, and interview witnesses and subjects.
ORC investigators are often required to conduct a wide variety of surveillance’s during investigations; these might include mobile, foot, CCTV, internet-based surveillance’s. It is extremely important the ORC investigator understands the legalities and the proper use of surveillance techniques to aid in resolving the investigation.
Once evidence has been obtained and any necessary parties (subjects, persons of interest, witnesses) interviewed and statements obtained, the ORC investigator is responsible for writing an accurate, clear and unbiased report reflecting the ORC investigation results. These reports might be presented to management, law enforcement, prosecutors, attorneys, and others to determine the facts. Remember it’s the ORC investigators role to gather the evidence, not serve as judge or jury as it relates to guilt. Opinions in ORC investigation matters are generally avoided. Articulation of the facts is absolutely essential!
Once an ORC investigation is completed, the ORC investigation might be handed over to law enforcement for prosecution. During this phase, the ORC investigator might be called upon to testify before the judicial authorities regarding the findings. ORC investigators are expected to testify truthfully to matters relevant to the investigation and to do so in a clear and concise manner.
Discovery and Deterrence
Overall responsibility for the deterrence of ORC lies with management or other appropriate authority. However, the ORC investigator is expected to understand root cause and provide appropriate recommendations on policies and procedures to prevent ORC.
The discovery of ORC within the organization might come from management, internal or external auditors, as well as loss prevention. However, once evidence exists that ORC is presented, the ORC investigator is expected to perform the necessary practices, as set forth in this manual, to resolve the matter. Allegations must be resolved in a professional and legal manner.