Co-op bites back at shoplifters with GPS tracking on meat
The Co-op has begun attaching GPS tracking tags on meat products in a trial to bite back at shoplifters this week.
Clear plastic boxes with the tracking tech built-in have been put around meat products in stores across the UK.
What triggered Co-op to place GPS tracking on their items is unknown, but it is likely a deterrent as they have appeared on meat and other high-value items.
It has sparked debate over crime surging during the pandemic, and whether poverty levels are rising if stealing food has become a concern for retailers.
In 2019, £1,993m worth of shoplifting occurred in the UK, according to the Centre for Retail research’s latest figures.
According to Home Office, figures the police recorded 374,395 shoplifting cases in the year ending March 2019.
The Co-op also plans to double the number of staff who wear body cameras to deter crime and abuse.
By the end of 2021, around 550 staff will be issued with recording devices, while frontline shop workers will wear headsets to alert security about any issues.
“Safety and security for our colleagues and customers is a number one priority,” a spokesperson for Co-op, said.
“This is a small scale trial, crime can be a flashpoint for violence, abuse and anti-social behaviour towards frontline shopworkers that continues to rise and, which affects all retailers.”