Smile for the camera

Pamela Beckett, who runs Honiton Toy Shop, wearing the camera badge. Pamela Beckett, who runs Honiton Toy Shop, wearing the camera badge.

Thursday, May 15, 2014
1:50 PM

A long-standing Honiton business is making a stand against shoplifters and fitting staff with tiny cameras in a bid to deter thieves.

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Honiton Toy Shop's new weapon to deter shoplifters - new cameras, which will be worn by staff.Honiton Toy Shop's new weapon to deter shoplifters - new cameras, which will be worn by staff.

Honiton Toy Shop decided to take action and purchase the badge cameras after being targeted by a shoplifter.

“We are making a stand and doing everything we can to try and catch these people,” says Mark Beckett, who works at the family-run High Street shop.

“We thought we needed something to try and deter shoplifters.”

The theft happened on Wednesday, April 30, and around £200 worth of goods were stolen from the shop at around 1.25pm.

Mark was inspired to get the cameras after watching television series It Takes a Thief to Catch a Thief.

The small smiley face cameras are able to record high definition video images.

Posters saying ‘Smile you’re on camera’ have been dotted around the shop as another reminder to stop thieves in their tracks.

He told the Midweek Herald that shoplifting is a ‘real drain’ on shops’ resources and can ‘massively harm’ businesses.

The incident last month was the first time such a large quantity of items had been taken in one go. But, the shop admits the majority of its customers are loyal and honest.

He added: “We are not going to stand for it – we don’t want shoplifters in the town.”

By having the cameras Mark says shop staff feel more comfortable and secure. “It gives us peace of mind and makes you feel better and more secure,” he said. “If the cameras stop one person in a year they have definitely paid for themselves.”

Now, Mark is hoping to make other businesses in the town aware that these products are available and can be used as a way of deterring shoplifters.

This December Honiton Toy Shop will be celebrating 30 years of trading in the town.

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