Gesichtserkennung: Mit KI auf Jagd nach Ladendieben

Please be friendly: At the entrance of this supermarket in Bristol, UK, customers are informed about the type of surveillance they can expect during their shopping experience. Bild: Laif

Supermarkets and retail chains in the UK are planning to utilize cameras and facial recognition software. This is due to the increased number of shoplifting incidents, which is also a growing concern in Germany.

BCritical supermarkets and retail companies have joined forces in an initiative to combat the increasing number of thefts, which aims to utilize software programs with Artificial Intelligence (AI) for the first time. These companies are supporting a police project that aims to analyze images from surveillance cameras using facial recognition software to identify shoplifters. The images will be compared with the national police database. Ten major companies are participating in the so-called „Project Pegasus,“ including supermarket chains Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, and Co-op, clothing chain Next, and department store company John Lewis.

Philip Plickert

Economic correspondent based in London.

Jonas Jansen

Wirtschaftskorrespondent in Düsseldorf.

The number of shoplifting incidents in the UK has recently increased significantly. According to police statistics from England and Wales, it rose to approximately 340,000 cases in the past twelve months until March, which is almost 25 percent more than the previous year. However, only a fraction of these cases are reported to the police. The British Retail Consortium estimates a total of around 8 million thefts.