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Free coffee for police at Waitrose as shoplifting spikes

Written by: Emma Lunn
Waitrose and John Lewis are offering free hot drinks to on-duty police officers in an attempt to tackle shoplifting and other crime such as violence against store staff.

John Lewis Partnership has written to the Police Federation to say officers can get a free hot drink in Waitrose and John Lewis stores if they bring a reusable cup.

Dubbed the “thanks a latte” plan, the incentive aims to reduce thefts by encouraging police officers to make stops at the stores.

The John Lewis Partnership also said officers can use the subsidised staff canteen “as part of efforts to strengthen relationships and tackle retail crime.”

According to the British Retail Consortium, assaults on Waitrose employees have roughly doubled since 2020.

John Lewis’s head of security Nicki Juniper said: “We’ve already got great relationships with some local police forces, but want to see this reflected across all our stores.

“Offering these perks is a win-win; the police already work incredibly hard, so will have more options to take a break, while also building even better relationships with our frontline teams.

“Likewise, even just having a police car parked outside can make people think twice about shoplifting from our branches, or becoming aggressive towards our partners.

“Retail crime is a national problem and requires a national solution – people need to wake up and smell the coffee.”

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