Co-op hires undercover guards and ex-veterans to deter thieves

Co-op has revealed it is hiring ex-cops, ex-veterans and undercover security guards to patrol the aisles in order to prevent shoplifting

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In the latest alternate security measures taken by stores to combat retail crime, Co-op’s campaigns and public affairs director Paul Gerrard revealed that the chain is investing in security that can perform citizen’s arrests on thieves. 

Gerrard told MailOnline that, following a spate of weaponized attacks on staff and a 25% increase of violence being used against staff, the chain is putting the matter into the hands of undercover security, plus former army workers and ex-policemen.

However, the majority of those caught are let go as police do not show up in 80% of cases, he said.

In August, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) crime survey revealed there has been a 24% increase in shoplifting offences logged by police forces in England and Wales. PCCs responded with how they intend to protect shop owners.

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Co-op also recently revealed it was taking additional steps to prevent retail crime by extending its dummy packaging trial, whereby it adds security tags to items such as steak and cheese

This is in addition to placing empty packaging on shelves, a tactic Spar is also trying out to deter thieves.

Meanwhile, one retailer, Hitesh Pandya, owner of Tonis Newsagents, Kent, shared that he is placing Pokemon cards behind a PVC screen that was required during the pandemic. He adopted this measure after seeing £450-worth of the cards stolen in one week.

Meanwhile, larger stores Waitrose and John Lewis are offering free coffee to policemen to increase police presence.

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