Case Study

Securing a leading UK retailer with Merlin 24/7

The Customer

One of the UK’s largest supermarkets, employing around 150,000 people. Mitie deliver integrated risk management, technology, manned guarding and security systems services across the entire UK portfolio, employing over 2,500 security colleagues across 1,400+ UK locations.

The Challenge

The customer had identified that their incident management and reporting procedures needed updating, and that to become more data driven in their approach to security they had to digitise. With Mitie already in place as their security partner, they gave us the problem to solve. It would require a complete overhaul to modernise the process and start providing the detailed insights the customer needed.

Stores reported incidents using a CID (Crime Incident Database), accessed through desktops in store by the commercial manager within a supermarket, or store manager in a convenience store. With most incidents being dealt with by security officers, the process to report an incident required officers to complete a paper incident report form, detailing all information relating to an incident. The paper form, known as an IRF (incident report form) was then handed to the appropriate person in store for the details to be manually transferred onto the CID system.

There were 2 key challenges the customer faced with CID:

  • Double handling – commercial teams having to enter information from an IRF into CID, led to approximately £689,655 labour cost on admin tasks
  • Delayed reporting – As information was entered onto paper forms then transferred onto the CID system, many IRFs were not put onto the system until certain times of the week or month, therefore information around risk could not be used to allocate security resource in a timely manner and trend analysis was complex


The Solution

Merlin 24/7, Mitie’s proprietary business operational management software, changed everything. Merlin 24/7 provides real-time incident management and alerts, building systems monitoring, and risk pattern and crime trend analysis.

With real-time incident management, the software completely digitised the process for the customer, saving time and providing detailed data into one central location. Once data is captured, the software analyses the risk profile of each store and assists in creating a tailored security service based on an individual store’s threat profile; because we understand that some stores are more likely to be a target than others, and that posting four security guards in a low-risk store is a poor use of the budget. By deploying our multi-skilled security officers in line with risk, both safety and cost efficiency of the service are improved.

Technology underpins how we work together, with the market-leading Merlin 24/7 technology implemented to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the contract.

The Results

Now stores report incidents through the Merlin 24/7 app, incident handling time has reduced by 50%, equating to approximately 90,000 hours of guarding back on shop floors.

Since implementation, Merlin 24/7 has achieved some incredible results;

  • Average time for a store to complete a report = 17.4 seconds
  • Average of 8,500 store reported incidents per week
  • 45,000 colleague searches being processed through the system every week
  • Improved utilisation of Store Detectives resource, providing best value and efficiency, increasing ROI by circa 75%

Merlin 24/7 has completely replaced paper reporting, automating tasks and identifying known offenders. It has delivered actionable insights, enabling the customer to analyse and share relevant information within its business to prevent repeat offenders across their estate.

In addition, they have been able to benefit from Merlin 24/7’s wider network, including retail partners, the Government Agency Intelligence Network (GAIN), Police National Database and the National Business Crime Solution (NBCS). With such an array of data and insights provided, Merlin 24/7 has truly changed the way this retailer operates their security.

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