Woolworths NZ to equip all stores with team safety cameras

Woolworths New Zealand has rolled out team safety cameras to all of its 191 stores, following a successful 17-store trial. The move is part of the company’s $41 million, three-year investment program to improve store security.

The company has reported a 75 per cent increase in physical assaults and a 148 per cent increase in serious reportable events during the past three years. The cameras aim to help de-escalate conflicts and make team members feel safer as they work.

Jason Stockill, director of stores at Woolworths New Zealand, expressed his concern about the need for such measures necessary to strengthen the stores’ security and safety.

“Our team deserves to feel safe coming to work every day, and what they’re dealing with is unacceptable,” Stockill continued. “While 99 per cent of people walking through our door are great and treat our team well, every day, our team across the country is still experiencing instances of abuse and aggression from shoplifters and other offenders.”

The cameras will only be turned on in the event of a security incident, and footage will not be released except when requested by police as part of an investigation. Woolworths’ team members will also be required to inform customers before recording.

“Speaking to team members who have trialled using team safety cameras, they’ve told me they feel much safer knowing that they have a tool to record abuse or conflict when it arises – and often turning the camera on actually de-escalates the situation completely, which is fantastic,” Stockill concluded.

Woolworths New Zealand is also planning to install new secure knife cabinets in the produce, deli, butchery, and bakery departments over the next few months to reduce their visibility and accessibility to potential offenders.

Further reading: Here’s the real reason customer abuse is rising.

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