UK retailers are stamping out shoplifters once and for all that reduce their revenue and customer loyalty, contributing £600,000 each towards using a police facial recognition operation for offenders.
CCTV footage that identifies clear facial images of shoplifters will be submitted to the police national biometric database for comparison. Matches will be determined if the offender has previously committed an offence to be added to the criminal registry database with their biometric data collected.
MP for Policing, Chris Philp has put pressure on police chiefs to enhance databases specifically recording the most prolific shoplifters which will be made available to retailers and police alike.
This collaboration to crack down on unwanted looting between the police and retailers comes as theft has spiked across the UK, Australia and the U.S. amid a cost of living crisis and many people’s financial situations worsening.
Project Pegasus, which will report back to Philp every 6 to 8 weeks, is a “zero-tolerance plan to target shoplifting” leveraging promising biometric technologies in policing.
Retailers such as John Lewis, Waitrose, Co-op, Next, and Sainsbury’s have all agreed to pay up.