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House of Fraser security guards


MarcXX
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A bit more than a year ago I visited the Manchester store of House of Fraser. As soon as I entered the store, 5 security guards started following me around. Each time I stopped to look at something, one of them walked past me and stopped in front of me to stare at me in a pretty aggressive way. This went on for about half an hour until I made my purchase and went to the cash till. Needless to say that I complained to the House of Fraser store manager. He passed my complaint onto AFC Group (AFC Group) who provide the House of Fraser security guards. It took AFC Group about a month to get back to me (they never asked me to confirm the exact time and location of the incident!) to tell me that I had made up the entire incident. I wonder whether other people have had similar experiences. AFC Group also provides security guards to Boots and Wooworth's.

 

Marc

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I used to be a manager for a firm who supplied security guards, and received numerous complaints from members of the public regarding the conduct of security guards whilst on duty.

 

Many of them take their job too seriously, and the training for 'covert surveillance' really didn't have much effect. They are entitled to watch shoppers either randomly or if they are suspicious, but what you describe could be interpreted as intimidation. Not a good thing.

 

However, without any prejudice at all, the guards which I received complaints about were mainly Polish guys who were just extremely eager and wanting to catch shop lifters!

Lived through bankruptcy to tell the tale! Worked in various industries and studied law at university. All advice is given in good faith only :)

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The most upsetting thing about the whole incident was that the security guards started following me as soon as I entered the House of Fraser store. One of them was posted at the door and he radioed his colleagues. From then on, it felt like I had stepped on a horniss nest! The other upsetting thing is that I have never ever stolen anything in my life and that I was a (very) good customer at House of Fraser from 1997 to last year.

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If that is the case then you were probably reported to them as being suspicious by someone outside the store. When I worked in retail all the stores on the highstreet had a common radio frequency for reporting sightings of known shoplifters and general scrotes. If one was seen entering your store then it would be radioed to the security staff who would then try to make it clear to the individual or group concerned that they were not welcome by following them really closely.

 

The HOF security staff I worked with fell into 2 groups, very good or utterly incompetent. The latter group included the head of security who was about as much use as a chocolate fireguard and had a thing about watching me cash-up at the end of the day because, as I was a university student, he deemed me too clever to be working there so I had to be up to something.

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I'm not a known shoplifter though. I work for a university and if I were to accuse a student of cheating in an exam without having any substantial evidence, I would lose my job on the spot. AFC Group seem to behave like the Gestapo: no wonder as they all wear brown uniforms.

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Guest ian cognito

Why did you not chalenge one of them at the time? "Sorry did you want something" in a very loud voice may just have left them confused enough to scuttle off - not the brightest buttons in the sewing box are they?

 

No offence meant, but if you dressed like half of my lecturers, they probably thought you couldn't afford to shop there!

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Surely it would all have been recorded, and with time and date they should be able to trace the tape. Doubt anything would happen, but you could always write to the House of Fraser, detailing what had happened, the negative response from the firm and tell them that as a result of it you will probably never shop there again. Word it well and they might send you some freebies.

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The variuos sites we supply security gaurds to is the same . the cctv is only held if needed because of a incident otherwise it gets thrown back in line to be wiped and rerecorded over again. however if the cctv is needed to be used in evidence it needs to be clean wiped with a specific vcr and then it can used in a cctv system and recorded evidence can be used. If you know they havent wiped it clean then you can technically do anything and they will not be able to produce this video in court !!!! This is used in clubs and dance halls etc most of the time. It has the same bearings if used in a shopping centre etc!!!!!!

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I'm not a known shoplifter though. I work for a university and if I were to accuse a student of cheating in an exam without having any substantial evidence, I would lose my job on the spot. AFC Group seem to behave like the Gestapo: no wonder as they all wear brown uniforms.

 

You might not be a known shoplifter, in which case you are store security's worst nightmare - an unknown shoplifter. Probably why they followed you so closely, if you were a known shoplifter they may have backed off as the ones they know about tend to go in and draw security's attention whilst their mates run about other sections of the store nicking.

 

You haven't been accused of anything and store security need a lot more than suspicion to take any action so play with them, I love setting the detectors off at the exit from shops as I leave with my paid for goods, I'm can't wait for the day one of the chocolate teapots actually tries to detain me!

Lloyds TSB, Total Charges £900, Claim Filed for £1379 - Settled

 

Sainsbury's Bank Credit Card, Total Charges £90 - Settled.

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Theres some ex forces in Security and they are not the best in public relations, along with police force rejects, ive worked in security and there is plenty of chips on the plate.;) Many have visions of being inspector Morse.. When they get into the work its not atall what they expect and if anything rather boring. So you would become a sugar lump to a starving horse:D

 

However In tescos tonight a lady made a complaint about a security gaurd and his attitude as he questioned them with a tag left on some clothing. he had assumed they had stolen instead of asking politely.

 

2 minutes earlier the same guy had gone to fetch a carrier bag for me as my shopping had spilled, when the one I was holding had broken.

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  • 3 years later...

On a related issue, are security guards vetted before they become security guards? Anecdotal evidence suggests that a sizeable proportion of security guards have a criminal record. Does anybody check whether they are on the sex offenders register before they get a job in the security industry? The above case seems to suggest that security firms such as AFC Security Group don't care how their employees behave. I find this quite worrying. If you take your children to a department store like House of Fraser, how can you be sure that your children are safe? Whenever I visit my department store, there is always a security guard standing next to the changing rooms! If I have more than one child with me, I cannot supervise all of them at every moment. What are the BSIA and SIA doing about this? Should anybody with a criminal record be allowed to be a security guard? Are there any statistics about how many security guards have a criminal record? A few years ago, the Home Office employeed cleaners as well as security guards who did not even have a work permit!!!

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They are always like that in Kendals (I'm assuming that's what you mean by HofF Manchester), because they work in a store laughably known as "the Harrods of the North" they seem to think they are somehow it. Just look straight at them and ask them if you can help them.

 

Good point re CRB checks above, I've never thought of that but expect there must be some checks involved.

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hi marcxx, too bad to hear about your experience. i'm sure you must have felt very uncomfortable. but here's the deal with shop security mentality "if you wear jean and a hoodie YOU ARE A SHOP LIFTER", "if you're a girl with a bad hair day loads of make up ugg boots and hot pants YOU ARE A SHOP LIFTER" talk about judging the book by it's cover....

here's an experience i'll share with you, sometime ago i was out walking my dog not wearing my best clothes. my dog (big rottie taller than me) pulled me and i fell. went down to waitrose to pick up a plaster and since i entered the security guard followed me, i was upset and i said out loud if you take a picture it'll last you longer! the security guard didn't expect it and just walked away. :p there are no legal acts to cover this type of thing, you just have to live with it :)

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