Booths supermarket is running facial recognition surveillance to stop shoplifting and abuse of staff

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This will happen every time you walk through the door.

Customers visiting Booths supermarkets are now having their faces scanned as part of a new crime-busting initiative.

The Preston-based business, which has 28 stores across the North of England, has brought in facial recognition surveillance systems, which scans every face that comes through the doors and is compared against a Person of Interest (POI) Watchlist.

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The company says it has made the move due to “increasing incidents of abusive behaviour towards shop workers in addition to significant increases in shoplifting”.

How does it work?

According to Booths’ website, the system instantly deletes the image where no match is found against the POI Watchlist. The system does not store this image and this image cannot be stored, retrieved or reverse engineered. Only those that have committed criminal activity on a Booths site will be added to the POI Watchlist. No images will be added to the POI Watchlist from any other external source such as the police or other retailers.

Those added to the watchlist are done so for six months from their last offence committed on a Booths site. After this time has elapsed, they will be removed.

A new sign up at Booths in Longton A new sign up at Booths in Longton
A new sign up at Booths in Longton | submit

This is what Booths say:

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A spokesman for the company said: “Increasing incidents of abusive behaviour towards shop workers in addition to significant increases in shoplifting are affecting businesses big and small across the UK’s retail sector.

“To help to address these issues and to keep Booths customers and colleagues safe, we are introducing Facial Recognition Technology in our stores.  This initiative is just one part of a broader approach aimed at minimising retail crime at Booths whilst protecting our colleagues and customers. The technology uses a combination of facial recognition but also requires human verification by a trained Booths specialist. We take our responsibilities to our customers and colleagues very seriously and our aim is to deter crimes before they are committed.”

Anyone with questions about the sytsem is asked to contact [email protected]

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