Industry group backs bag checks to stop shoplifting

The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has backed Tasmania’s ‘bag check’ legislation ahead of the upcoming debate in Parliament around the Security and Investigations Agents Amendment Bill 2018.

The Tasmanian Bag Check Code of Conduct aims to make it easier for retailers to stamp out shoplifting, which the ARA said is a major concern, as the Christmas trading period approaches.

“Annual retail industry turnover amounts to over $310 billion across Australian and in Tasmania alone, retail turnover is in excess of $6.1 billion,” ARA executive director Russell Zimmerman said.

“With an approximate loss of $216 million from theft in Tasmania, this is an ongoing concern for the retailers and the industry.”

The Bag Check Code would allow retailers to make physical inspection of bags by retail staff a condition of entry to the store.

Current laws require retailers to hire a licensed security guard in order to conduct bag checks, which represents an extra cost for retailers.

“The ARA encourages all states and territories across Australia to follow in the lead of New South Wales and Tasmania in implementing the ARA’s guidelines to ensure a nationally consistent approach,” Zimmerman said.

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