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Coles Equips Staff With Body-Worn Cameras To Tackle Shoplifting And Threats

Coles is taking action to address the rising threats against staff and the ongoing issue of shoplifting that costs the industry $9 billion annually. 

The Australian supermarket giant is set to deploy body-worn cameras in 30 high-risk stores located across South Australia, Victoria, Queensland, and Western Australia.

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The introduction of these body-worn cameras follows a trial period during which security guards and retail staff tested the wearable recording devices. 

Sophie Wong, Coles’ transformation general manager, told 7News that the move comes as a response to the surge in retail crime and a growing incidence of physical and verbal abuse directed at staff due to rising cost-of-living pressures.

Coles workers will wear the body-worn cameras and stream live footage back to the management.

“(It enables) us to understand in real time what is happening to our team members and the community as well,” Wong said.

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Ms Wong said that the cameras fully comply with Australian privacy laws and regulations, assuring Coles would retain the footage for only a brief period, typically “no longer than a few weeks”.

Coles’ total stock loss for the previous financial year surged by 20 per cent. 

Coles is not alone in implementing this measure, as other supermarket chains, including Woolworths, have also implemented body-worn cameras to combat crime.

To ensure transparency, Woolworths has placed signage in its stores to inform customers that the cameras are in use.

In addition to body-worn cameras, Coles is investing in duress watches, which can alert the police in a dangerous situation. These watches have been activated several times.

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