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first time, hello. supermarket security issue need advice please


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me my partner and 9 yr old son was in asda back in october 2012.

 

my son won a laser pen at the fair,

 

while we were in asda me and my son was shinning it on the walls and on the ceiling.

 

shortly after we were told by the security guard to stop shinning it or we had to leave the shop,

to which i replied yes ok mate and put the laser pen in my pocket and never used again.

 

still to this day 11/06/13 when shopping asda we are recognized every time upon entry then watched

and followed as we shop which is a very uncomfortable feeling for all three of us.

this also happens in five other big retail outlets now.

 

neither i or my partner or my 9yr old son have ever stolen anything or have any criminal convictions against us

but every time upon entry to these places were are made to feel like criminals

and have become very distressed over this matter,

much more so for my partner who is now 5 months pregnant.

 

a simple thing like shopping has become very stressfull indeed.

 

any helpfull advice will be much appreciated

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I think I would probably ask to have a quiet word with the store manager. Explain what happened, and explain that the security guard is treating you like a criminal since it happened.

Tell them that you won't let your child do that again, you are sorry and a regular customer. Tell them you don't want to take your custom elsewhere, but you feel that you are being driven to it.

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Do I understand correctly that you always get followed by security in five separate stores????

 

It sounds unlikely this would happen just because your son shone a laser pen at the ceiling in a single store almost a year ago. Is there anything else to the story?

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hello thanks for reply. had thought about doing that but we really don't feel comfortable going into the place anymore while this is going on. we have also now been advised to write a letter our local store manager and to the main branch explaining what has happend and wait for reply. gonna try that. thanks for taking the time to reply to this.

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Could be the same guard is being regularly moved around to different shops and he's telling the guards lies. You do get a fair amount of vindictive "guards" in the security industry. Most have a power complex, even though they know theres actually very little they can do.

Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

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The reason I asked is because maybe all shopping centre shops would all share the same security firm and they would share information. But the same security company could be employed by the other shops. It would be helpful if you could find out who has the security contracts for these shops.

 

If the Asda security man has passed on your details to other shops that would be disgraceful.

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it certainly looks like they have done that as we are picked up soon as we walk into these supermarkets and in there smaller convenience shops, were made very aware that we are being watched every time.

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I know this might be a slightly off-the-wall idea, but do you have any friends who could chat to the security guards saying that they are thinking of getting a job in security and which company do they work for, are they any good, and so on. If you can find out that three or four work for the same group I think you have good grounds for a complaint to the head office.

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  • 1 month later...

hello, ref to my first post on supermarket security posted june 2013.

 

Have written to my local asda store manager but did not get a reply.

 

So i wrote to general manager at asda head office.

 

Got a answer message on my phone 14 days later saying

"I have spoken with your local store manager about the incident and he says that its all forgotten about

and all water under the bridge but if you would like to pop into your local branch

and have a word with the manager then that would be fine".

so that's what i did today.

 

Upon speaking to the manager i just wanted to make sure that everything was fine and that our profiles we were no longer on there database.

the manager then replied we do not have a database or any way of keeping profiles on record.

I then asked how we were getting recognised every time upon entry to the shop and other shops

and that none of this happend to us before the incident with the laser pen back in october last year, to which i got no reply.

 

Then i asked how or why our profiles got passed on to other shops, which has now reached every newsagents , garage, cafe pretty much every place we go into now,

the managers reply was that we might have got put on something called townwatch and the only thing i can suggest to try

and sort this out is by going to the police.

And that was that

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You "might have" been put on "something called townwatch". By Asda, I assume?

 

That is absolutely outrageous.

 

I do think though that you should speak to the police and ask them how this "townwatch" works. You can also ask what exactly Asda reported about your family under the Freedom of Information Act and I would certainly do that.

 

This is appalling.

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You "might have" been put on "something called townwatch". By Asda, I assume?

 

That is absolutely outrageous.

 

I do think though that you should speak to the police and ask them how this "townwatch" works. You can also ask what exactly Asda reported about your family under the Freedom of Information Act and I would certainly do that.

 

This is appalling.

 

Freedom of Information Act applies to public, not private bodies, and would be for "generic" rather than "personal / individually identifiable information" : do you mean an SAR under the Data Protection Act?

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Sorry if I have misunderstood, but as it is "townwatch" I would have thought that meant it was some kind of public watchdog? Maybe a link to the local council or business organization?

 

You probably know more about this than I do. Do you think it should be a SAR under the DPA?

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With a townwatch scheme, the shops can put anyone they like under surveillance. It acts as a deterrent and keeps the shops relatively secure. Where i live in chester, they have a HUGE cooperative effort. All the shops collectively agreed to finance such a scheme themselves, and it became such a success, the police gave the shops a direct link to the local station.

 

Theres something like 800 people on their lists now and over a thousand people caught this year alone. (Not everyone who is 'caught' or 'interviewed' is placed on the list for some reason)

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Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

:D

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Typical FOI request : "how many people do you hold information about" : so aggregated data which may be about a group of individuals but not asking about AN individual.

 

Typical SAR / DPA request " what information is held about me" : so about AN individual. This request can go to any data controller (private or public body)

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With a townwatch scheme, the shops can put anyone they like under surveillance. It acts as a deterrent and keeps the shops relatively secure. Where i live in chester, they have a HUGE cooperative effort. All the shops collectively agreed to finance such a scheme themselves, and it became such a success, the police gave the shops a direct link to the local station.

 

Theres something like 800 people on their lists now and over a thousand people caught this year alone. (Not everyone who is 'caught' or 'interviewed' is placed on the list for some reason)

 

I think this is awful. It's not the fact that they are watching people whom they consider dodgy, it's the fact that there is a secret list - and there are almost certainly some totally blameless people on it.

 

pgtipps was asked to stop his nine-year-old son playing with a laser pen which he did immediately. He certainly shouldn't be on a list of suspected criminals/troublemakers.

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It might seem awful but it ensures all shop management and security throughout the city are aware of suspicious people or actual shoplifters. They can then be apprehended when entering any shop or leaving.

 

Regarding the op, it seem apparent that it was a rogue security muppet that decided to take the law into their own hands

Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

:D

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I think this is awful. It's not the fact that they are watching people whom they consider dodgy, it's the fact that there is a secret list - and there are almost certainly some totally blameless people on it.

 

pgtipps was asked to stop his nine-year-old son playing with a laser pen which he did immediately. He certainly shouldn't be on a list of suspected criminals/troublemakers.

 

There is (no doubt) a list, but is it a "secret" list.

 

"Existence of list not widely known, but not hidden, and registered under auspices of the DPA" isn't the same as "secret list", surely?

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There won't be an actual list.

 

When I worked in a large chain of shops we had a similar system whereby all the town centre security guards are connected via a radio and you could warn each other of dodgy looking characters or well known shoplifters. It worked very well and these systems are commonplace throughout the country.

 

It's unfortunate that the OP is now recognised but it was probably no more than word of mouth so a SAR would be a waste of money.

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Had a message left on my phone from the police saying that asda can take profiles and can distribute to other outlets and this is not a police matter and i should go back and speak to asda again.

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Had a message left on my phone from the police saying that asda can take profiles and can distribute to other outlets and this is not a police matter and i should go back and speak to asda again.

 

 

Why would it be a Police matter?

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That was the advice i was given by the store manager. when he said that we might have been put on this townwatch thing i then asked how do i go about getting us taken off this thing or getting our profiles stopped from being passed on to other retail outlets.

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