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John Lewis says ‘thanks a Latte’ to police with free coffees to deter shoplifting

Chloe Burney
22 August 2023

John Lewis is offering on-duty police officers free hot drinks and discounted food as part of the initiative named ‘thanks a Latte’ in a bid to tackle shoplifting.

The retailer hopes that uniformed police in-store will deter thieves. John Lewis Partnership, which owns John Lewis and Waitrose, wrote to the Police Federation offering officers free coffee if they bring a reusable cup.

This comes as a response to soaring levels of crime,  including theft, amid the persistent cost of living crisis. According to The Independent, John Lewis has had to increase spending on security staff and guards to tackle shoplifting.

Nicki Juniper, Head of Security at the John Lewis Partnership, commented: "Retail crime is a national problem and requires a national solution. Just having a police car parked outside can make people think twice about shoplifting from our branches, or becoming aggressive towards our partners [staff]."

John Lewis Chair, Dame Sharon White, has also written to Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, calling for tougher action on repeat offenders.

According to the British Retail Consortium, overall retail theft in England and Wales increased by 26% last year. Approximately 850 incidents were taking place daily, often resulting in staff being threatened.

Earlier this month, Marks & Spencer's Operations Director warned consumers and retailers that crime rates are surging as the flagship shopping destination declines after an incident took place on Oxford Street.

The recent incident not only saw nine arrested but also an additional 34 dispersal orders issued. Sacha Berendji, Operations Director at M&S, said this was "another reminder of how bad things are".

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