Assistant Editor, Informa

September 4, 2023

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State of Physical Access Trend Report 2024

Retail security

Tesco staff offered bodycams after rise in violent attacks  

Tesco’s Chief Executive, Ken Murphy, has announced that staff are to be offered bodycams after abuse rose by a third in the last year.

Body-wornCamera-dpapicturealliance-AlamyStock-22Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Murphy said those responsible “are small in number but have a disproportionate impact. And the number of these incidents is increasing”. He added that staff “deserve to be safe at work”.

Findings by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) published earlier this year found abuse against retail staff had almost doubled to 850 incidents a day, up from around 450 a day pre-Covid. Incidents include racial and sexual abuse, physical assault and threats with weapons.

Murphy said he hopes the body-worn cameras will “deter offenders”.

Tesco has invested £44m in the last four years on security measures including door access systems, protection screens and digital radios, as well as the cameras, according to Murphy.

Last summer, 100 retail chiefs wrote to 41 Police and Crime Commissioners in England and Wales, urging them to make crime in retail a priority in local policing strategies.

The BRC also wrote to Mayors and Police and Crime Commissioners in July, asking them to do more to protect retail workers. This followed findings from the BRC that incidents of theft have increased by 27% in 10 of the UK’s largest cities, as perpetrators have become more emboldened and increasing links to organised crime.

Other supermarkets have already implemented similar polices, with Sainsbury’s employees using body-worn cameras since 2018 and the Co-Op since 2020.


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