How To Prevent Supermarket Theft

Theft is always a risk whether you are the owner or manager of a small convenience store or a chain of supermarkets.

From police reports we know that supermarket theft is rising in England and due to police cuts it is seldom a police priority.

At Lead Element Security Group we understand the deliberations private retailers face when considering private security as an option. Every retail shop is under an increasing threat of crime – ranging from shop lifting to armed robbery with CCTV as the only actual security measure in place. The cost is not only financial it also puts pressure on the staff having to consider their safety and whether or not to confront a perpetrator.

Below we offer some advice on how to minimise the threat of theft to your supermarket, convenience- or general retail store:

Visible Security Guards

Security guards are an effective visual deterrent. It sends a signal to potential criminals that professionals are monitoring your store.

Security guards can be deployed either as static guards or mobile security, closely monitoring doors, checkouts and patrolling the aisles. It will also alleviate stress and fear in your employees, knowing that it is not their responsibility to confront potential criminals.


CCTV cameras are an important part of retail security. Placing CCTV near entrances and exits, at till points and outside the premises are ideal. It is also a good idea to install CCTV in locations that are hard to see or gain access to quickly.

CCTV recordings offer the unquestionable proof in potential court proceedings and because of this is will often act as a deterrent of theft.

Lead Element Security Group can assist and advice in the installation of CCTV cameras.

Monitor Self-Service Tills

Self-service tills are smart and practical but they are also among thieves’ favourites ways to steal from retail stores. Thieves will attempt to pass off expensive items as cheaper ones or simply neglect to scan them at all. By placing security guards close to the self service tills, thieves will feel scrutinised and this will act as a deterrent.

Watch Customer Behaviour

Behavioural Detection is defined as the methodical, scientific and systematic appraisal of people’s behaviour when under stress in an environment through observation, assessment and decision-based operations.

It is a skill-set regularly used throughout the UK by law enforcement agencies to identify potential threats from those with intent to commit a criminal offence. Those with malicious intent are proven to display high levels of physical, psychological and involuntary reactions, particularly when exposed to additional stress factors such as the presence of a trigger – e.g. a uniform, security, police or a security feature such as a camera or checks.

At Lead Element Security our employees are not only SIA qualified with military background but also are fully qualified Level 2 Behavioural Detection Officers (BDO).

Mobile Patrols outside of operating hours

Almost all retail shops are targeted during the silent hours. Criminals are getting bolder in their actions to gain entry into shops and department stores, often using heavy plant machines such as bulldozers, which are often stolen too.

We believe our strength as a security company lies in operating outside the trading hours, and monitoring the stores during the silent hours.

We deploy both Mobile Patrols and Physical Patrols in marked Lead Element logo vehicles or at other times we may use unmarked vehicles if required.  However we have found that overt Mobile Patrol Units functions as the best form of deterrence to would-be criminals, and opportunists.