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Not So much Super as All Consuming

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sjb
797529.  Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:03 pm Reply with quote

I've only ever had my bags check when a cashier failed to desensitize an alarm setter-offer on something or other. Actually, this happened to me, too, in Peru . . . with a bar of chocolate. It was a fairly nice bar of chocolate, but did it really need a security device?

 
CB27
797530.  Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:04 pm Reply with quote

Maybe it had the golden ticket?

 
sjb
797532.  Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:05 pm Reply with quote

I wish . . . .

 
Sadurian Mike
797592.  Fri Mar 18, 2011 5:05 pm Reply with quote

When I did retail security at a cheap 'n' cheerful clothing chain (it's the name of a bird with a colourful tail) we had plenty of people set the alarm of coming into the store.

It was usually Asda security tags that Asda staff hadn't bothered to remove. That raises questions about Asda's security, but it also meant some very red-faced shoppers. Luckily they ended up laughing about it when I explained what was going on.

 
CB27
797605.  Fri Mar 18, 2011 5:52 pm Reply with quote

You worked for Jordan's?

 
barbados
797685.  Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:23 am Reply with quote

Sadurian Mike wrote:
When I did retail security at a cheap 'n' cheerful clothing chain (it's the name of a bird with a colourful tail)


You did retail security for Kate Moss????

 
Arcane
797706.  Sat Mar 19, 2011 5:42 am Reply with quote

Neotenic wrote:
Quote:
And we still have to have our bags checked when we leave anway.


Really? Even at our local supermarket, which isn't exactly the most picturesque location, nor is it frequented by the most upstanding members of the community, they let us to use the tills without checking we haven't slipped a packet of biscuits under our vests, or something.

Obviously you lot are just not as trustworthy Down There. ;-)


You tell Mrs Tenic that? XD

At major department/grocery stores and many smaller shops, it's a condition of entry that you show inside any and all bags. It may mean also showing a store assistant your receipt, and they can check that the items you purchased add up to the reciept. It can mean checking inside your handbags, baby bags, prams, wheelchairs etc.

Personally I wonder how effective it is. If you KNOW that someone is going to check your bag, you'd hardly put it in there now would you? Many of these shops have security stickers, security sensors at the store exit, security cameras, store detectives, and the like, also, if you really wanted to steal something you could shove it down your top or in your pockets. Anyway, it is what it is.

 
Spud McLaren
797712.  Sat Mar 19, 2011 5:56 am Reply with quote

I've always promised myself that, should I ever get stopped and searched by the shop gorilla, when nothing is found I get a full, grovelling, public and above all LOUD apology.

 
'yorz
797731.  Sat Mar 19, 2011 6:29 am Reply with quote

"when nothing is found"?? You mean, "AND nothing if found" I hope.

 
Spud McLaren
797732.  Sat Mar 19, 2011 6:30 am Reply with quote

Well - never say never...

 
Arcane
797749.  Sat Mar 19, 2011 6:58 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
Arcane wrote:
And we still have to have our bags checked when we leave anway.


You don't have to at all - you are allowed to say "no", and if store staff try to prevent you from leaving in those circumstances they commit a criminal offence. One reads occasionally about store staff who try to deny that you can say "no"; if this happens, call the police.

Within the English-speaking world, bag checks seem to be a common practice only in the USA and Australia. They were never as common in Canada as in the USA, but are now less common still because there's some doubt over legality. They are practically unheard of in Britain.


Signs are displayed when you enter the stores "It is a condition of store entry that we check your bags..." etc etc.

It seems the situation, after some reading is thus:

If you enter the store, you are basically saying that you consent to their conditions.

https://mybrc.com.au/Money-Legal/Legal/Laws-Doing-Business/Pages/Consumer_Law_Checking_Bags.aspx

http://www.police.act.gov.au/community-safety/for-act-businesses/robbery-and-theft/bag-checking-and-searching.aspx

There seems to be much confusion in the time I spent trying to get answers on just how "legal" it is to do be able to do bag searches. It varies from "yes they can" to "no they can't enforce it". Very, very confusing.

Often though, it can be very much down to the attitude of the store assistant; some are pleasant enough, some have the attitude that every person who exits the store is thief until proved otherwise. Some stores have a very bullying policy, including asking people to empty their pockets, or insist that they check EVERY docket and product, even if their store doesn't sell it (say, model trains after leaving an electronics store). As I said, you'd think if you know a store does bag checks, you're hardly going to put stuff in your bag are you? (surely not, but then again...) and someone will simply hide the item elsewhere. I do have issue with the bag checking policy on that front; it's obviously going to be aimed more at women. Men with baggy pants could be hiding all sorts of expensive items... but nevertheless.

I now see signs saying that school students cannot take their bags into stores and to leave them outside (if that happens my daughter just won't go in, as she will have her school laptop in it), people must take motorcycle helmets off, and more recently, "hoodies", other stores will not let you take backpacks in. I do wonder how effective all these measures are.

 
Sadurian Mike
797817.  Sat Mar 19, 2011 12:26 pm Reply with quote

Spud McLaren wrote:
I've always promised myself that, should I ever get stopped and searched by the shop gorilla, when nothing is found I get a full, grovelling, public and above all LOUD apology.

You may well get an apology but you would be unlikely to get one to that extent.

The power to search bags is down to the police alone - security staff cannot do so without your full cooperation. They should not even ask you to empty your pockets or whatever, because they are in a position of authority in that situation and could be accused of misusing it.

A security guard has as much right as normal shop staff to ask you to wait for the police to attend, and he may also restrain you if you try to run off. They key point, though, is that there must be very good reason for you to be detained. Nagging suspicions or you "looking dodgy" are not enough, and it is usually down to actually seeing you attempting to steal.

At that point the police will normally be called, and it is they who will search you. If it turns out that you have been detained by mistake it is likely that you will get your apology, and many stores may even go further (I've known vouchers be given), but if the procedures are followed properly then the store has done nothing wrong.

PS: I don't look too much like a gorilla do I? I mean I do try to shave often and my chest-beating days are long gone.

 
Spud McLaren
797820.  Sat Mar 19, 2011 12:32 pm Reply with quote

Sadurian Mike wrote:
PS: I don't look too much like a gorilla do I? I mean I do try to shave often and my chest-beating days are long gone.
:-D

Probably not now, then.

Some of the ones at our local Asda & Tesco are very big lads, though.

 
suze
797842.  Sat Mar 19, 2011 1:25 pm Reply with quote

From what Mike says, it sounds as if random or routine bag checks on exit are not allowed in this country - and the feeling in Canada appears to be moving that way too. Thinking in Australia and the US is clearly somewhat different.

As for those vouchers, if I were offered one I'd tell them where they could stick it. There is precisely zero chance that I'd ever go back to a store which had wrongly accused me of stealing, so there wouldn't really be much point in taking the voucher.

 
Sadurian Mike
797897.  Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:15 pm Reply with quote

That's the dilemma facing Loss Prevention/Control Managers for stores.

It would be easy to drastically lower shoplifting, but the methods used would be so intrusive and overbearing that it would put off honest folk coming to shop. Do you lose thousands from theft or thousands from not attracting trade?

The uniformed guard is really just a deterrent, the best way to actually catch shoplifters are store detectives or CCTV. My technique when I saw someone I was sure was up to no good was to wander by, apparently at random. If the person was up to no good they got spooked (unless hardened professionals who it is hard to stop anyway), but if they were just shopping they would simply ignore me.

Of course, where I worked the shoplifters weren't the brightest buttons in the box anyway. I mean, who the hell shoplifts at a discount clothing shop?

 

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