Coles to introduce body-worn cameras to fight theft and violence in stores
Coles is introducing body cameras for their employees. Additionally, read about the commonly sought-after groceries that are not within Australians' budget.
Ashley Nickel composed the blog post for Daily Mail Australia.
Blog post published on September 12, 2023 at 12:33 AM and updated at the same time.
Coles employees will soon adorn body cameras as a measure to curb incidents of aggression towards the personnel and cases of robbery.
On Monday, Coles declared that it would introduce cameras in 30 of its high-risk stores across South Australia, Queensland, Victoria, and Western Australia in order to evaluate the reaction.
Paul Zahra, who is from the Australian Retailers Association, gave an explanation regarding the functioning of the cameras.
According to him, these devices become operational solely when a crew member senses any danger to their security. Therefore, they do not keep a constant recording of events throughout the day. This statement was made during a conversation with Sunrise on Tuesday.
The staff member receives instruction to inform the customer about initiating recording, which provides reassurance to the team member and the rest of the customers.
Coles is planning to implement body cameras for their workers in 30 of their high-risk stores due to the increasing occurrence of shoplifting leading to a significant loss.
Coles has decided to implement cameras because they faced a huge increase in stock loss of about 20% last year, notably from theft.
The blog shared information about growing incidents of shop theft. Businesses across Australia lose approximately $9 billion each year due to this issue. On the other hand, they are making profits of $1.1 billion.
According to Mr. Zahra, the recent surge in crime is likely the most severe he has witnessed in his entire career in the retail industry.
He stated that there has been a significant increase in retail crime, but there isn't a clear reason why it has become such a major problem.
We believe that the issue of the high cost of living has contributed to this problem, but we are witnessing a shift from petty theft to more coordinated and complex criminal activities, which is an even more alarming issue.
According to Mr. Zahra, the cameras comply with Coles' rules on the privacy of its employees.
A representative from Coles gave a statement to Daily Mail Australia, expressing that the workers are in favor of the latest technology.
According to Coles, the installation of cameras is aimed at safeguarding both the customers and staff against any instances of violent conduct, and to also discourage acts of theft.
They stated that it is essential to recognize that most customers behave properly when visiting a store. The implementation of such measures is intended for the minority who do not.
We place utmost importance on the safety of both our team members and customers which is why we have implemented various security measures in our stores to minimize theft. Our security personnel and surveillance technologies, such as CCTV, are some examples of these measures.
The cameras attached to the body are designed to start recording only when someone turns them on. In case a staff member senses that any scenario could put them in danger, they can activate their body camera and let the person they interact with know that it has been turned on to ensure their safety.
The experiment has garnered positive feedback from the staff who believe that the innovation would serve them well in potential perilous circumstances.
Soon, patrons of the 30 testing establishments will notice a petite dark container present on the attire of employees.
The camera is a tiny box that, once turned on, will transmit a video feed in real-time to the team in charge.
Australia's South, North, East, and West will all be testing out body cameras.
There are various industries where body cameras are being utilized, but the majority of them are worn by police officers and security personnel.
In 2021, Woolworths, a competitor of Coles, started testing out body cameras to ensure the safety of their employees.
Coles' inaugural body cameras are set to be introduced at their retail establishment located in Rundle Place, Adelaide's central business district.