Teddington’s branch of Marks & Spencer has employed three security guards to help tackle the increasing incidents of shoplifting, we can reveal today.
As Teddington Town revealed yesterday the Metropolitan police has introduced ‘facial recognition’ to try to identify shoplifters from their database who may have been caught by in-store CCTV.
M & S in the High Street is regularly targeted by shoplifters and according to one store source shoplifting has become a ’much bigger issue’ since the COVID pandemic and increases in the cost of living.
The source added: “We welcome any technology which may help reduce the scale of shoplifting in our store and the possible arrest of those caught in the act. This is not a specific problem for M & S but the whole retail sector, even in Teddington.”
The store declined to comment on whether the security guards were in uniform or undercover like store detectives but they started work three weeks ago.
According to the British Retail Consortium customer theft has grown to a staggering eight million incidents a year – at a cost of nearly £1 billion.
Taken together with crime prevention, the cost of retail crime is fast approaching £2 billion per year which then increases the operating costs for retailers and ultimately pushes up prices for customers.
Earlier in the summer M & S hit the headlines for limiting the number of steaks on show in a store because of a surge in shoplifting the high value item but later reversed the policy.