Coles high-tech security measure could lead to 'distrust'

Australia’s two biggest supermarkets are going to increasingly drastic lengths to fight back against stealing and violent behaviour in their stores – but experts are saying it could lead to a sense of ‘distrust’ and ‘trauma’ in customers.

Retailers say the moves are necessary to combat a $9billion-a-year problem, but they are being slammed by privacy campaigners as over the top and likely to unfairly target the most vulnerable members of society.

The store also revealed the use of body-worn cameras – similar to those used by police or bouncers – would be used in some of its most high-risk stores to protect staff against an alarming increase in violence

Woolworths has also been ramping up security, with its rollout of enhanced cameras monitoring customers at self-checkouts receiving mixed reviews.

‘It’s important to note that the majority of customers do the right thing in store. Measures like this are for the ones who don’t,’ a Coles spokesperson said.

Privacy campaigners say the extra security measures are an unnecessary burden on people going about their daily lives.

The new security will only add to the ‘fear you’re constantly being watched’, Deakin University senior lecturer in criminology Mary Ilias said.

The cameras will also ‘exacerbate feelings of trauma and distrust’ for vulnerable people, according to Dr Ilias.

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Source of data and images: dailymail

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