Unfortunately attacks on retail workers are continuing to rise, with over 42,000 incidents recorded in the last year, costing the sector over £900m.
However, the detrimental affects on businesses go beyond costs, as the physical and mental well-being of staff is continually being put at risk on a daily basis.
Due to this ever increasing threat retailers are now under more pressure than ever to protect staff. As a result of attacks, shop workers are experiencing severe mental health problems. In a report carried out by the University of London, it was found that a rise in violent retail crime is causing "long-lasting anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder" among workers in the sector. This has led experts to call for ‘urgent’ help to protect retail staff, saying they have a duty of care to do everything they can to make sure workers feel safe, secure and valued in their workplace.
This increased threat of violence is forcing all retailers to re-think security policies, as quite literally lives are at risk if retail staff are not given more protection.
One of the most effective ways to actively deter violent and aggressive behaviour, and protect customer-facing staff, is to equip staff with Body-Worn Cameras (BWCs). BWCs act as a confrontation preventer, as it is proven that members of the public are far less aggressive to staff members if they know they are being recorded. The cameras also greatly speed up the handling of incidents, insurance matters and complaints. On top of all this, the cameras are utilised to highlight training requirements, evaluate protocols and improve best work practices.
Asda became one of the first major retailers in the UK to use BWCs after a successful trial, which began in 2016. Edesix (now Motorola Solutions) collaborated with CBES, Asda’s preferred security installer, to design and install a tailored wearable CCTV deployment system perfectly suited to the retail giant’s needs. Edesix and CBES worked closely at Asda’s national security centre and across four store deployments to provide them with the knowledge and expertise so the cameras could be rolled out in the remaining stores with minimum impact on store efficiency. This system, which is intuitive to use and requires little training, has enabled staff to integrate the cameras into their daily working routines with minimal fuss.
There are now in excess of 900 Edesix BWCs in operation in over 250 Asda sites nationwide, with more growth expected in the near future. As a result of this partnering strategy, which relied on both the innovative nature of Edesix’s technology and communication between all parties, Asda has been able to improve colleague security, diffuse aggressive and volatile situations and reduce valuable investigation time, thus reducing costs. Since the deployment, Asda has proven the viability of these cameras by securing numerous convictions relating to theft and violence against staff.
To capture critical evidence and protect your retail staff, please get in touch by emailing our team of experts - firstname.lastname@example.org.