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Crime Stoppers and Coles join forces to fight retail crime

Posted on 11/09/2023

As retail crime continues across Australia, Coles and Crime Stoppers South Australia have stepped up the fight with a new partnership that sees both organisations work together to improve the safety of team members and customers and raise more community awareness.

According to statistics from the South Australian Police, most retail crime is carried out by repeat offenders – with 10 per cent of offenders causing more than 60 per cent of retail crime. With these crimes rising by 29 per cent in the 12 months to May 2023, there is a growing need for retailers to take strong action.

Coles General Manager of Supermarkets Transformation, Sophie Wong, said the new partnership is as much about reducing theft as protecting team members – who are increasingly subjected to physical and verbal abuse from shoplifters.

“Unfortunately, our team members are often on the receiving end of abuse during incidents of retail crime – which is completely unacceptable. As a business we have an increased focus on this space and are introducing new measures and initiatives to support our team members and combat shoplifting,” Sophie said.

“The safety of our team members and customers is our top priority, and we have a range of security measures in place to reduce theft from our stores including security personnel and surveillance technologies such as CCTV.”

“The partnership between Coles and Crime Stoppers South Australia will provide team members with comprehensive training sessions to help them safely manage instances of retail crime, and will help to create a safer shopping environment for our team and customers.”

Crime Stoppers South Australia will also host pop-up activations around South Australia to engage with the community and educate them on the role they can play in reporting suspicious activity.

Crime Stoppers has been a trusted service in South Australia for 25 years, working closely with retailers, police, media and the community to help solve crime.

Crime Stoppers South Australia CEO, Nigel Smart said they were proud to be joining forces with Coles to actively prevent and solve retail crime.

“Coles is a leader in the retail industry and a major employer in South Australia, and this collaboration reflects a shared commitment to best protecting retail workers and customers,” Nigel said.

“Anyone who thinks it’s acceptable to assault or threaten retail workers, or take goods without paying for them, should know they are on notice. The clock is ticking for retail criminals because they are being watched and there are plenty of people who are ready to share information with Crime Stoppers about who they are.”

Coles has a range of security measures in place to reduce theft from our stores including CCTV, electronic article surveillance (EAS) along with technology designed to improve the safety of team members such as duress smart watches and body cameras.

The community can anonymously share any information about retail crime via Crime Stoppers South Australia at or freecall 1800 333 000.

IMAGE CAPTION: Assistant Commissioner Scott Duval (SA Police), Coles General Manager of Supermarkets Transformation, Sophie Wong and Crime Stoppers South Australia CEO, Nigel Smart speak to media at the announcement.



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