Shop owners hope that tech can deter thieves
Tech they have invested in is a simple doorbell style camera that sits on the counter
(Web Desk) - Isabella Day founded her jewellery shop, The Remarkable Goldsmiths, in Dartmouth just two years ago. Since then they've had around £3,000 worth of goods stolen.
"We're in a difficult position," she says. "My partner's very unwell.
We are a family business, a small business. Literally everything we make in the shop, we haven't been paid for until someone buys it. So, it has a big impact when someone steals something."
"We make everything from scratch. We make all our own gold alloys, in 28 different colours - grey, gold, green-gold, peach."
Despite her high-value goods, Ms Day is reluctant to lock her door to customers.
"I really want it to be welcoming. I don't want to be a 'buzz people in' kind of jewellery shop," she says. "I just think it stops people coming in to look."
In the summer months, tourists come to Dartmouth. This is when Ms Day's shop is at its busiest.
"They don't come in to spend money," she says. "They come in to have a look around, and then they're like 'oh, this is so pretty!', and they accidentally spend some money.
I don't think those people would come in at all if you had to buzz in."
Ms Day keeps her products in cabinets and in the window, with a few items out for people to pick up.
Following the first theft, however, they had an alarm system fitted, with a panic button that immediately alerts a security company and the police, and cameras with signs up on the walls to say they have CCTV.
"We also put a really ringy bell on the door!" She adds.
But the best piece of tech they have invested in, she says, is a simple doorbell style camera that sits on the counter.
"It's really high quality footage and records the whole shop," she says.
Following the most recent theft of a necklace worth £685, the police identified the thief using footage from the doorbell camera - and made an arrest.
In the year to June 2023, the police recorded a 25% increase in shoplifting in England and Wales, and across the UK retail theft costs an estimated £953m - despite over £700m in crime prevention spending by retailers.
Meanwhile, in the US retail crime cost the industry more than $112bn (£92bn) in 2022 - losses which push up retailers' operating costs and consequently increase prices for customers.
Retailers are taking all sorts of measures to deter shoplifters, including funding a police surveillance project, hiring undercover guards to patrol shop floors and even offering free coffees to police officers to tempt them into their stores.