Home Bargains

Shoplifters are also warned via posters in stores that CCTV evidence will be used to prosecute them, either by the police or Home Bargains itself

Home Bargains is offering a reward of up to £500 for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of shoplifters.

Posters in its shop windows are informing customers they can get the reward by calling the variety discounter’s confidential hotline with information leading to the “arrest and successful prosecution of anyone committing a criminal offence in our stores”.

The crime hotline posters, first reported by The Telegraph, come alongside a lifesize cut-out image of a police officer at Home Bargains’ store entrances.

Shoplifters are also warned evidence from CCTV cameras throughout the store will be used to prosecute them, either by the police or Home Bargains itself, which has about 600 shops across the country.

“Even if not caught at the time, we use this CCTV evidence to pursue shoplifters after they have left the store,” a sign in a Home Bargains store in Liverpool warned last week.

“As well as police prosecutions, we also carry out civil prosecutions against shoplifters.

“It is twice as expensive to shoplift at Home Bargains,” the warning concluded.

Read more: Crime fightback kicks off as Co-op named most targeted

Earlier this month, retail leaders including the chiefs of the UK’s biggest supermarkets wrote to home secretary Suella Braverman demanding a tougher approach to tackling surging crime rates.

The CEOs of Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Aldi, along with Asda co-owner Mohsin Issa, were among 88 retail leaders to demand the creation of a standalone offence of assaulting or abusing shopworkers, triggering tougher sentences.

A group of the UK’s biggest retailers, reported to include Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Co-op and John Lewis, have also agreed to fund a £600,000 police operation to crack down on organised shoplifting, dubbed Project Pegasus.

A Tesco worker’s petition calling on the government to make violence against retail workers a standalone criminal offence has so far received 12,000 backers, including the supermarket’s UK CEO Jason Tarry. The petition passed 10,000 on Saturday, meaning the government is required to respond.