I’m a security expert – secret measures Sainsbury’s and other supermarkets have in place to stop shoplifters | The Sun

A SECURITY expert has revealed the secret measures Sainsbury's and other supermarkets use to stop shoplifting.

Retailers are bringing in more measures to stop shoppers stealing items, according to Professor Joshua Bamfield, Director at the Centre for Retail Research.

He told the Sun Online shoplifting costs retailers £800million-a-year – so bosses are keen to find a solution.

He added: "People say shoplifting isn't serious, but it's a gateway crime. If they're shoplifting at 15, they're burglars at 19 and by 25 they're in an organised crime.

"Retailers need to cut it off quickly, at a young age, so it doesn't escalate."

Supermarkets want to bring in facial recognition CCTV so they can quickly find problem shoppers, he claimed.

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And many high-end items have hidden spyware that triggers an alarm once they've been taken out of a store.

He added: "Supermarkets use security tags to stop shoppers taking a lot of the goods.

"But for more high end products like razor blades spy assistance is now used.

"Hidden alarm triggers will go off only when the product has left the store. They're very difficult to remove from the products so work really well."

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Some retailers that face a large amount of crime have started putting empty packets on the shelves so there's nothing to take, he said.

"Supermarkets are also putting empty packets on shelves to deter criminals and more alarm systems are in place. One or two retailers are bringing in facial recognition CCTV.

"It means if someone was already apprehended they won't be allowed back in the store. They'll be spotted on the system if they try.

"People say that's an invasion of privacy but it won't matter unless you're committing crimes. They might not be prosecuted but that still works as a huge deterrent."

And if you're caught taking items without paying, many supermarkets have a "policy of apprehension".

It means you could end up being questioned in back room and cops might be called.

Prof Bamfield added: "Retailers may not want to prosecute but they make it clear shoplifters can't do that and aren't allowed to come back for a year or two years.

"That can be significant if you've got a family and then aren't allowed in. It's a big deal." 

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It comes after Sainsbury's shoppers slammed a new policy which forced them to scan their receipts before they leave the store.

And an expert revealed hard-up Brits are addicted to shoplifting.

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