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Hello Everyone.

 

First time poster in need of some help and advice.

 

I was recently accused of shoplifting in Sainsbury's.

 

Here's the story:

 

an off-duty employee, who just happened to be shopping in the store, incorrectly claimed she saw me trying to steal some items and she reported me to the store security.

 

The security guard (accompanied by several 'burly' male members of staff) asked me to leave and escorted me off the premises.

 

I attempted to remonstrate with them but they weren't interested and feeling completely surprised and intimidated I left.

 

The police were not called, my details were not taken, and no further action was taken. It ended there and then……or so I thought…..

 

From that day on, I always get followed by security in almost all major shopping chains up and down the country from London to Aberdeen. It's very easy to spot and I'm certainly not being paranoid.

 

The process is almost always the same - it usually starts with an announcement over the speaker system when I walk in (e.g. "Can the Store Manager please come to the security desk" or some variation) and then I get followed around the shop often culminating with large groups of staff standing next to the exit as I leave, I assume, waiting for me to do a runner or something.

 

The whole experience makes me feel sick every time as I hate the idea that I'm thought of as a shoplifter.

 

I don't have the confidence to confront them either.

 

I've also been followed at Airports and Kings Cross train station amongst other places.

 

Am I an some sort of UK National Shoplifting Database?

 

Does the database have a name and someone I could contact?

 

Can I get removed from it?

 

Where would I even start with any of this?

 

I'd appreciate any help you could offer.

 

Best regards,

 

Garabaldi

Edited by garabaldi
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Not sure how to make this response polite, so if it comes across as blunt, then please forgive me.

 

You say you are not, but I believe you are being completely paranoid and are seeing things that simply do not exist.

 

You should have complained at your treatment in Sainsburys - you most certainly should not have been escorted from the premises without a very good reason - it is fair enough for an off duty employee to raise a concern, but security should have acted on what they saw from that point on, and NOT on hearsay.

 

However - there is not and nor can there ever be a national database for shoplifters - suspected or otherwise. There may be a local scheme whereby a photograph is circulated, but this would be limited to a single town or small geographical area. How could a photograph of one person ever be circulated nationally, between different retail groups? How could all security staff possibly memorise your face even if that were to be the case? How many photographs would they see in a day/week/month?

 

What you are describing would involve face recognition technology - and whilst that might be the stuff of Spooks or James Bond, retail stores simply don't have access, nor could they ever deploy such a scheme. At a railway station or airport, under the control of anti terror police or national security agencies? Perhaps - if you were suspected of being a terrorist, but for being suspected of shoplifting? Never!

 

Go shopping, act normally and.....do your shopping. Say hello to the people standing by the exit. They may just e having a huddle or could be going for a ciggy. They may even say hello back :-)

Any advice given is done so on the assumption that recipients will also take professional advice where appropriate.

 

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we have never seen any proof one actually exists other than in the imagination of Jackie at the RLP.

 

I can assure you, that, having [nuff said] worked in this area from the late 80's thru till the recent years

that there is NO direct exchange of information held by lets say your local shopping centre 'shopwatch' scheme

to other shopwatch schemes elsewhere.

 

I have never seen any national database ever - nor ever heard or seen any 'proof' of one 'actually' existing

 

dx

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Not sure how to make this response polite, so if it comes across as blunt, then please forgive me.

 

Thanks for the reply Sidewinder. I've got no issues with bluntness - I need some blunt advice.

 

I have to confess I think you're incorrect though (although I really do hope you are correct - I really do). The Sainsbury's incident happened in Newcastle and I've alerted security in big shopping chains (Tesco, Morrison's, B&Q, M&S, etc.) up and down the country since. It's very easy to spot them doing it - Morrison's in particular pursue me particularly aggressively and rely heavily on their shop staff. I'm not crazy - I'm quite a sane chap I assure you.

 

I believe these shopping chains are sharing information with each other. Whether or not its a centrally controlled database by a third party or they're just swapping info with each other is anyones guess. My assumption is that they use facial recognition and I get 'flagged' as soon as I walk in.

 

Anyway….I don't want to get into a debate. I hope you're correct :-).

 

Thanks again.

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I have never seen any national database ever - nor ever heard or seen any 'proof' of one 'actually' existing

 

Thanks dx. I'm still convinced the big shopping chains are sharing info with each other. My guess is they're sharing facial recognition data as I am 100% sure I am being 'flagged' when I walk in a store. It's impossible to miss particularly if the shop is relying on their own staff to watch me - they're not very good at hiding the fact they are trying to watch me.

 

Anyway….as I said to Sidewinder - I really hope you are correct. The whole thing makes any shopping experience horrid - but it does make me shop in smaller local shops as I know they won't be following me.

 

Thanks again.

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there are no stores that have face recog software.

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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One thought….my Macbook Pro has facial recognition that identifies all pictures of me and flags them up. It's doesn't seem a stretch of the imagination that a large supermarket chain could utilise this software if my little 900 quid laptop has it.

 

Just a thought.

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Thanks dx. I'm still convinced the big shopping chains are sharing info with each other. My guess is they're sharing facial recognition data as I am 100% sure I am being 'flagged' when I walk in a store. It's impossible to miss particularly if the shop is relying on their own staff to watch me - they're not very good at hiding the fact they are trying to watch me.

 

Anyway….as I said to Sidewinder - I really hope you are correct. The whole thing makes any shopping experience horrid - but it does make me shop in smaller local shops as I know they won't be following me.

 

Thanks again.

 

 

Wear a moustache & glasses & a wig.

Use fillers in your cheeks to alter the shape of your face.

Surround yourself in tin foil to create a Faraday cage to screen out the tracking chip.

 

At least then when you are being followed you can know it is because of what a sight you look. & nothing at all to do with a non-existent database.

 

If there were such a database, how many people would have access to it? Don't you think that with the volume of people who would have access to it that news of its existence wouldn't 'leak'?

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Wear a moustache & glasses & a wig.

Use fillers in your cheeks to alter the shape of your face.

Surround yourself in tin foil to create a Faraday cage to screen out the tracking chip.

 

At least then when you are being followed you can know it is because of what a sight you look. & nothing at all to do with a non-existent database.

 

:lol: ha ha. Awesome.

 

I hope you're all right. I'm still not completely convinced though.

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Youll never be completely convinced. However there will never be a database like this. Mainly due to the legal ramifications of a private company allowed to hold so much personal info. Not to mention the colossal costs that would be involved in maintaining the Database and everything that goes with it.

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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Thanks renegadeimp. I completely agree. The idea of it seems unbelievable and I convinced myself that such a system couldn't exist for all the reasons you say…..however, when I am in Tesco over 200 miles from where the original incident took place and their staff are clearly watching me and following me around……I just can't dismiss it. It happens every time without fail.

 

Sometimes they look positively annoyed and aggressive towards me. It's almost like they take it personally. I know for sure they are following me around. I'm not saying this proves the existence of a central national database…..but these organisations are sharing information with each other for sure.

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Thats slight paranoia. You think theyre watching you, so you watch them. This in turn makes them watch you as you are acting suspiciously in their eyes. You keep on watching them every time you go in, so of course they will continue to monitor you.

 

To them you have the hallmarks of someone who has intent to shoplift, but is waiting till nobody is watching to do so.

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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Thats slight paranoia. You think theyre watching you, so you watch them. This in turn makes them watch you as you are acting suspiciously in their eyes. You keep on watching them every time you go in, so of course they will continue to monitor you.

 

To them you have the hallmarks of someone who has intent to shoplift, but is waiting till nobody is watching to do so.

 

Hmmmm……..this is a good point well made.

 

Given the number of people replying to this post saying such a system don't exist may indicate I need to have a little word with myself.:|

 

Thanks again.

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I felt compelled to locate my login details to respond to you, Garibaldi!

 

What I would say, and please do not be offended, is that the reason you are or you perceive you are being watched is that you are, subconsciously or not, looking rather shifty. :behindsofa:

 

Turn on your tunnel vision when you enter a retail unit and just focus on the task in hand as opposed to where staff members are.

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I felt compelled to locate my login details to respond to you, Garibaldi!

 

Thanks. Appreciate it.

 

What I would say, and please do not be offended, is that the reason you are or you perceive you are being watched is that you are, subconsciously or not, looking rather shifty.

 

I'm starting to think this might be the case. I fear I may be going a little crazy :madgrin: .

 

Thanks for your thoughts and comments. I need some time to process this.

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Also the costs of "getting it wrong" would likely be catastrophic in terms of compensation etc esp as almost every single name would not be backed by a criminal conviction, I imagine the libel costs alone would wipe out the likes of RLP and make store shareholders wet themselves in fright

 

Youll never be completely convinced. However there will never be a database like this. Mainly due to the legal ramifications of a private company allowed to hold so much personal info. Not to mention the colossal costs that would be involved in maintaining the Database and everything that goes with it.

[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

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however, when I am in Tesco over 200 miles from where the original incident took place and their staff are clearly watching me and following me around

 

I can categorically say that Tesco do not use face recognition software or anything other than a local scheme of sharing photos in the immediate area - and then only for serious offenders

Any advice given is done so on the assumption that recipients will also take professional advice where appropriate.

 

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING

EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

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If I have been helpful in any way - please feel free to click on the STAR to the left!

 

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countersurveillance work teaches you how to spot the watchers. They are looking for unusual behaviour and you exhibit it. They dont know you from Adam, havent got a clue where you are from etc but your demeanour makes you interesting because you are different.

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countersurveillance work teaches you how to spot the watchers. They are looking for unusual behaviour and you exhibit it. They dont know you from Adam, havent got a clue where you are from etc but your demeanour makes you interesting because you are different.

 

Thanks ericsbrother - I'm starting to get the feeling I've become so paranoid about being watched that I may be behaving in a rather odd fashion that could be misconstrued as 'shoplifting behaviour'?

 

I have to confess I've even followed security guards who I thought were watching me because I got so p***ed off with them.

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I can categorically say that Tesco do not use face recognition software or anything other than a local scheme of sharing photos in the immediate area - and then only for serious offenders

 

Thanks Sidewinder. I was so convinced. It's starting to become apparent that the human brain can convince you of anything if you believe it sufficiently.

 

I'm finding this rather bizarre as I've believed it for so long - I was expecting a raft of posts telling me "oh yeah mate - if you're on that National Database then you'll be on every shop security system", etc. Mental.

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maybe visit another shop, at least until things have calmed down.

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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maybe visit another shop, at least until things have calmed down.

 

Bizarrely, I've since been back to the store where the incident happened and I don't get the feeling I'm being followed there (yes…they let me back in without confronting me giving weight to the fact that I'm being rather paranoid about the whole thing).

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Just make sure you dont look suspicious anymore. Just go about your shopping as any other person would.

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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Further to my post on facial recognition and shoplifting databases, a little 'Googling' indicates that the technology exists for the type of supermarket CCTV system that detects and alerts to the presence of known shoplifters. For example the following extract from: http://www.clearview-communications.com/cctv/facial-recognition-video-analytics

 

"Facial Recognition - Biometric facial recognition systems compare images of individuals from incoming CCTV video against specific databases and send alerts when a positive match occurs.

 

The key steps in facial recognition are:

 

Face detection

Recording detected faces

Match recorded faces with those stored in a database

Automatic process to find the closest match

 

Applications include:

 

VIP lists – make staff aware of important individuals (VIPs) and respond in an appropriate manner

Black lists – identify known offenders or to register suspects to aid public safety

Banking transactions – verification of the persons attempting a financial transaction

Access Control verification – confirming identity visually, manually or automatically

Mustering – keep a tally of who is in and who is out"

 

A relatively reputable CCTV supplier (Avigilon - who supply the large city CCTV systems) states: http://avigilon.com/products/video-analytics/

 

"With a high degree of accuracy and the industry's lowest false alarm rates, within seconds of a suspect triggering user defined analytics rules, instant notifications can be sent directly to your security personnel - delivering instantly actionable information when it matters most, helping to minimize the impact on your organization."

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please keep to one thread

 

 

dx

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Share on other sites

Please note that this topic has not had any new posts for the last 1294 days.

If you are trying to post a different story then you should start your own new thread. Posting on this thread is likely to mean that you won't get the help and advice that you need.

If you are trying to post information which is relevant to the story in this thread then please flag it up to the site team and they will allow you to post.

Thank you

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