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Northampton shoppers criticise 'dangerous' new security measure introduced at Tesco stores to clamp down on shoplifters

Jun 29, 2023

Northampton shoppers have criticised a ‘dangerous’ new security system introduced at multiple Tesco stores to clamp down on shoplifters.

Many shoppers in Northampton have taken to social media to criticise a new security measure implemented at multiple Tesco Extra stores across the town.

One young mother said her trolley slammed to a halt while she was carrying her eight-week-old baby when exiting Tesco Extra in Mereway, and says she was left less than impressed with the security guard’s response.

She said: “Tesco Mereway have introduced a new system that means random trolleys are stopping shut very suddenly at the door, so that they can check the contents of your trolley against your receipt.

“I had my eight week old baby in a carrier on my front so he slammed into the trolley handle. When I said I wasn’t impressed the security guard said pregnant people and people with babies shouldn’t be pushing the trolley so fast – I was walking at a normal walking speed.”

Following on from this post many other people came forward with their experiences and thoughts on the new measure.

One shopper said: “This happened to me last week. I thought my wheel had stuck so was trying to push it hard to get it to move. Then security came over and asked to see my receipt. I used self service and pressed no when it asked if I’d like a receipt so I couldn’t show him it. Thankfully he unlocked the wheel and let me out.”

And it appears its happening at other Tesco Extras across the town.

One shopper said: “They are also doing this at Tesco in Weston Favell as well. It makes you feel like a criminal but they are doing it to stop the people who shop lift.”

Another added: “This is going on all over now, it happened a few times here in Daventry too. People have been warning about it.”

Others shared their thoughts on the new measures.

One person said: “This is such a pain, why introduce self service if they can’t trust people to use it. The solution to this is have a cashier scan your stuff, right? Making the self service useless. Jamming the wheels on trolleys just sounds dangerous.”

Another joked: “Does this mean that having the technology to stop the trolleys will mean they can stop them from leaving Tesco car parks, leaving them dumped everywhere?”

This newspaper asked Tesco: Is this slamming trolley brakes a new system introduced by Tesco? Why has it been introduced? When did this start?

A Tesco spokeswoman said this ‘gatekeeper’ trolley lock system is designed as an ‘additional security measure’, so that trolleys are not taken beyond the store environment and misused.

The spokeswoman added that the company is ‘monitoring the technology closely as it rolls out to stores’.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) representing retailers said thefts across the sector in England and Wales rose by 26% in 2022.

In March, police forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland recorded almost 33,000 incidents of shoplifting.