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Project Pegasus: Britain’s top ten retailers to pay police £600,000 to tackle shoplifting epidemic

Ten of Britain’s largest retailers are set to fund a new police operation that aims to deter shoplifters.

Under Project Pegasus, police will run CCTV pictures of shoplifting incidents provided by the retailers via the Police National Database.

According to The Times, the scheme will use facial recognition technology, giving police a “national picture of where shoplifting gangs are operating and the shops they are targeting”.

Project Pegasus is expected to be paid £600,000 from ten retailers, including John Lewis, Next and Tesco.

The operation comes under government efforts to make sure “all forces show zero tolerance”.

The move comes after the Office for National Statistics revealed shoplifting crimes have risen by a quarter this year.

Ministers reportedly met with police chiefs and retail representatives last week to “hammer out plans to target shoplifters”.

Policing minister Chris Philp has “tasked police leaders with drawing up a target list of prolific shoplifters” to set up a national shoplifting database which can be used by police and retailers nationwide, says The Times.

The news follows Co-op hiring undercover guards to patrol its shop floors as it looks to combat the rise in shoplifting. In the meantime, Waitrose has started offering free coffees to police officers who visit its stores in a bid to crack down on store crime and violence against staff.

(Source: Retail Gazette)

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