News Archive

Retail ASBO

by msecadm4921

Convenience retailer Bells Stores (part of the Sainsbury group) who operate across 55 sites, have gained a number of ASBO (Anti Social Behaviour Orders) against individuals who have been caught stealing and intimidating staff.

In a recent case, images from the store’s OCTAR digital recorder were used to provide evidence of shoplifting and aggressive behaviour, resulting in an individual being barred by magistrates in Darlington in December 2004, from entering any of the groups premises or approaching staff, until 2009. Since the granting of the order, the offender has not entered any of the company’s stores.

Thornaby-on-Tees based installer Visual Security Systems began fitting the OCTARs into the Bells Stores premises three years ago, and since then security manager, Barrie Hodgson, has also used evidence from the systems to assist in securing convictions for theft, including some prison sentences. However, the ASBOs recently gained have the extra benefit of extending protection to staff: some employees have been approached by known shoplifters outside the workplace.

Barrie says: “The quality of the footage obtained has undoubtedly contributed to the success of these prosecutions. An additional benefit to our business is that staff are fully aware that the investment in OCTAR based CCTV is as much about their protection as the detection of theft, underlining the perception of our stores offering a safe working environment.”

The OCTAR system used by Bells is made by Prestwick based manufacturer Visimetrics (UK). The recorder has features specifically for retail, the makers add, including electronic point of sale (EPOS) data integration which searches for video footage of specific transactions as defined by users.

For more information on Anti-Social Behaviour Orders, please visit

Visimetrics are exhibiting at IFSEC 2005, Birmingham NEC. In Hall 6, Stand K76, the company will be exhibiting a range of Digital Evidence Recorder products and Network Video devices, including FASTAR. Using MPEG technology, FASTAR delivers DVD standard video and audio recordings, the firm reports. Despite being only 1U in height, FASTAR handles real-time audio and video across eight channels with a hard disk capacity of 1.2Tb, the makers add.

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