Shoppers made to feel like ‘criminals’ as security barriers installed

New security gates installed at some of Sainsbury’s stores has led to mixed reactions from shoppers, with one saying she felt like a “criminal.” The gates require customers to scan their receipt as they leave – a move which is thought to drive down shoplifting figures as the cost-of-living crisis bites.

The barriers block customers from exiting Sainsbury’s stores until they scan their receipts, while customers must ask security to let them out if leaving the supermarket empty-handed, reported MailOnline.

Shoppers have expressed their anger raising concerns about the inconveniences that have been caused to them.

Some said they were made to feel like criminals after being prevented from leaving Sainsbury’s stores, and others who said the supermarket had failed to consider young families and disabled people.

Complaints about the new system first started in December when shoppers started to notice the new barriers in place.

However, the system is now being developed in other stores of the chain including in Balham in South London and Winnersh in Berkshire.

Lesley Pinchbeck, from Enfield, told MailOnline she “felt like a criminal” after her self-service checkout till ran out of paper.

She said the experience was “doubly disconcerting” as she is “over 70 and also registered disabled due to profound deafness”.

She said: “I had no idea what the security guard was shouting at me from the other end of the checkouts or why.

“In the end he just released the barrier and let me go. It was a while before I had the confidence to return.”

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said the gates are used in a “small number” of its stores “self service checkout areas”

The supermarket, however, refused to give over information as to the total number of gates it has installed across the country.

The Sainsbury’s spokesperson noted the exit barriers form part of a “range of security measures.”

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Sainsbury’s decision to install the exit barriers comes as shoplifting has surged over the previous year in the face of Britain’s cost-of-living crisis.

However, some had a different take to the entire incident.

A social media user @fborocyclist tweeted: “Why are these people always ‘furious’? So you have to scan a receipt to get through the self checkout, it’s really not a big deal … we’ve had that at the local Sainsbury for a few months.” has contacted Sainsbury’s for more information. 

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