Marks & Spencer (M&S) says its recent CCTV certification from the Surveillance Camera Commissioner (SCC), in compliance with its CCTV Code of Practice, has uplifted the profile of this type of security within the organisation.

The fashion, food and homeware business – which has become the first UK retailer to achieve this accreditation – says CCTV is now an important source of information for managers looking to use the data for operational and commercial benefit.

M&S has implemented the standard across its head office, distribution centres and stores, which it says has improved quality measurement, supported by a comprehensive audit and review programme. Analysis of the M&S CCTV network brought about by the introduction of the new code has also resulted in cost savings, as the retailer rationalised the equipment across its estate.

Four Security Consultants helped M&S gain the accreditation, and both organisations have said that hope it will inspire other retailers to achieve certification, which could in turn improve the overall standards of CCTV operations within the retail sector.

Clint Reid, M&S's head of corporate security, commented: "We are pleased to continue our partnership with Four Security and optimistic about the potential improvements in protecting our people and working environment that gaining the SCC CCTV certification will bring."

Research released last year by Checkpoint Systems found that the UK retail industry spent around £2 billion on loss prevention solutions in 2014.

Of the retailers surveyed in the annual Global Retail Theft Barometer, which is underwritten by an independent grant from Checkpoint, the majority use CCTV/DVR, security guards, and alarm monitoring solutions. Three-quarters of respondents said they use each of these tools as part of their loss prevention strategies.

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