Woolworths has revealed a raft of new controversial security measures that could be rolled out across its stores in a bid to curb what it says is rampant shoplifting.
The supermarket giant is trialling automatic gates and new hi-tech sensors at some stores across the country that would stop shoplifters dead in their tracks.
Using rooftop sensors, cameras would track customers as they leave self-serve registers.
If they identify someone hasn’t paid for their items or just attempts to leave, automatic gates at the front of the store would stay closed and block their exit.
In a demonstration to 7 News, Woolworths spokesman Mark van den Bosch showed how the gates remained shut when he tried to take goods he hadn’t paid for out of the store.
“We’ve seen an increased activity of non-paying customers,” Mr van den Bosch said.
Data from the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) reveals retail theft was up 23 per cent in the last two years to December 2022.
It follows large declines during 2020-21 from the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a statement, BOCSAR said crime volumes for retail theft were returning to pre-pandemic levels.
Woolworths’ new measures are in addition to the drastic announcement that customers would be filmed at self-serve checkouts as part of new security updates.
The trial, which began at Seven Hills in Sydney’s west last year but then expanded to hundreds of stores along the east coast, was to stop “accidental” wrong scans in case people were trying to scan expensive items as cheaper ones.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/breaking-news/automatic-gates-sensor-cameras-woolworths-reveals-controversial-new-tech-to-beef-up-security/news-story/1084264a1789a6cdbb82169b02d074d7 Woolworths reveals trial of automatic gates, sensor cameras to combat shoplifting