Lidl will soon roll out the new security measure in a bid to stop theft
One of the UK’s leading supermarkets will soon have staff wearing body cameras as part of its fight against a surge in shoplifting.
Lidl has seen an uptick in theft and violence towards its workers, and plans to roll out the body cameras in every store.
The grocery chain claims to be the first UK supermarket to do so, but added they won’t be required for every member of staff.
Bosses at the retailer said workers ‘will receive training to ensure the cameras are used safely and in a way that protects an individual’s privacy’.
The supermarket giant is investing £2million to roll out the new security measures.
Chief executive of Lidl, Ryan McDonnell, said: ‘As a business with over 960 stores across the length and breadth of the country, safety and security has always been an absolute priority for us.
‘While our stores are typically safe environments, retail crime is something that is impacting the whole industry.
‘Our investment into ensuring all our stores have body-worn cameras is just one of the ways we’re taking action to protect and provide reassurance to our colleagues and customers.’
Lidl’s move comes as a shoplifting ‘epidemic’ has struck the UK, with a 27% increase in retail crime and a £2.8billion loss from customer theft in the last financial year.
While opinion is divided as to the reasons for the spike, the North East regions are also some of the most deprived in the UK.
Experts have said the trend may result in other stores using an Argos-like model to prevent thefts.
In the backdrop to the ugly scenes are the British Retail Consortium figures showing that retail crime incidents increased by 27% across 10 of the UK’s largest cities in the 12 months to July 2023.
The trade association has also found that violence and abuse toward workers soared from around 455 incidents per day in 2019 to 2020 to more than 850 a day last year.
The rising scourge of retail crime has generally been blamed on the cost of living crisis and on organised crime gangs, with differing views on which is the overriding factor.
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The supermarket giant is investing £2million to ensure each of their 960 shops have the new security measures.