Seattle Councilmembers launch audit of organized retail crime

Mar 10, 2022
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Written by Washington Retail
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On February 22, Seattle City Councilmembers Andrew Lewis and Lisa Herbold announced that the City Auditor is beginning a review of organized retail crime (“ORC”) and the City’s response to it. Councilmember Lewis began pushing for the audit last spring, but the pandemic prevented the Auditor from being able to start the review until now.

The City Auditor is looking at three specific issues:

    • the current state of organized retail crime in Seattle;
    • emerging practices from other jurisdictions; and,
    • potential opportunities for the City to better address organized retail crime.

The City of Seattle is making organized retail crime more of a priority, and Washington Retail wants to ensure that the Auditor and Council have an accurate view of this enormous problem. Washington Retail has encouraged its members with Seattle locations to provide their companies’ perspectives on those three issues in their answers to three questions:

    1. What has been your company’s experience with ORT in Seattle?
    2. What “best practices” have you seen in other jurisdictions to address ORT?
    3. What specific suggestions do you have for Seattle to improve its handling of ORT?

WR is in the process of gathering responses from retail members and will share them with Councilmember Lewis and the City Auditor. If you would like to offer your input on these three questions, please send them in an email to WR Executive Assistant, Jessica Tingle.