The cooperative has begun installing GPS tracking tags on meat products in an attempt to bite back on shoplifters this week.
Clear plastic boxes with built-in tracking technology have been placed around meat products in stores across the UK.
What prompted Co-op to place GPS tracking on their items is unknown, but it’s likely a deterrent as they have appeared on meat and other high value items.
It has sparked a debate about the rise in crime during the pandemic and whether poverty will rise once food theft becomes a problem for retailers.
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According to the latest figures from the Center for Retail Research, there was £ 1,993 million in shoplifting in the UK in 2019.
According to the Interior Ministry, the police recorded 374,395 cases of shoplifting in the year to March 2019.
The cooperative also plans to double the number of employees wearing body cameras to prevent crime and abuse.
By the end of 2021, around 550 employees will be equipped with recording devices, while those at the front will wear headsets to warn security in the event of problems.
“Safety for our colleagues and customers is a top priority,” said a Co-op spokesman.
“It’s a small process. Crime can be a hotspot of violence, abuse and antisocial behavior towards frontline shop workers that continues to grow and affect all retailers.”
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