Greengates Builders Merchants

Do You Have A Conscience?

Research suggests self-service checkouts are turning many shoppers into criminals. Many shoppers say they trick the machines by giving the wrong information and almost a third have admitted to stealing while putting items through the scanners.

A quarter of those who did not steal admitted their only reason for not doing so was fear of being caught.

Isn’t that why most of us don’t steal anyway? Not according to the experts who say offenders are often not driven by poverty but just take advantage of the fact they are unlikely to get caught. Beverley Stone, a psycho­logist, said: ‘Often the people who choose not to obey the rules just don’t have a conscience. They only do the right thing if they think they might be caught, so if the chances are slim they’ll do it”.

Poorly supervised  checkouts, which rely on users to scan items, are making it easy to abuse the system.

Shoppers admitted to using a wide range of techniques, including slipping extra items through and lying about which items they had.

The most common ruse was to select cheaper fruit or vegetable items when weighing them before paying.

Supermarket checkouts have devices which detect when an item not paid for makes it into the bagging area, giving rise to the now familiar phrase ‘unexpected item in the bagging area’.

However, staff regularly override the checkout in order to keep queues moving.

Items without barcodes, such as loose fruit and vegetables, provided the greatest oppor­tuni­ties to cheat.

A sixth of shoppers admitted to being dishonest when asked to enter an item manually.

Shoplifting can carry a custodial sentence although very few are handed out.

“Are you one of these people without a conscience or are you just to scared of getting caught”? Asks Greengates Builders Merchants Accrington, Lancashire.

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