tesco body cam

Morrisons is to join Tesco is arming its staff with body-worn cameras in response to the wave of crime against shop staff.

The supermarket revealed it was running a trial across 25 stores with the potential of a UK-wide rollout if it is seen as a success.

The move follows Tesco CEO Ken Murphy’s announcement at the weekend that all frontline staff at the supermarket giant would be offered security cameras to help deter criminals responsible for a rise in violent crime and thefts.

As well as trialling cameras for staff, Morrisons stressed all its stores also had third party uniformed security guards who are also equipped with a body camera. The security guards have a high-vis vest for deterrent purposes.

However, Asda chairman Stuart Rose has revealed the supermarket will not be offering body cameras to staff because of fears over privacy.

“I don’t really want to get to a world where you sit down and everybody’s photographing everybody else for whatever action they take. That’s not a good place to be, but we do have to be careful about how our staff are exposed to dangers.”

Asda’s security guards do have access to body-worn cameras.

One supermarket source told The Grocer its staff had been undergoing training in how to avoid becoming embroiled in violent situations.

“We have been given staff extra training which has focused in part on how they can avoid confrontation. It’s important that staff know how they can diffuse situations without becoming involved in confrontations.”

It comes after the latest BRC figures show violence or abuse against staff had almost doubled from 450 incidents per day in 2019-20 to more than 850 last year.

Meanwhile, Murphy spoke about what he labelled the “heartbreaking” impact on staff of attacks, which had soared in number since the pandemic, and called for a change in the law to make abuse or violence towards retail workers an offence across the UK.

The Tesco boss said the supermarket was rolling out the body-worn cameras “for colleagues that need them” in a bid to deter offenders, as part of an investment of nearly £50m by Tesco in security measures.

Both Co-op and Waitrose have offered staff body-worn cameras since 2020.