A “fed-up” shopkeeper has been exposing suspected shoplifters on social media.
Danny Khan, 34, started uploading CCTV on TikTok and Instagram following a surge in crime at his shop in Winson Green, Birmingham. He claims his unique method has been so effective that some shoplifters have even apologised and paid what they owe to take down the videos.
Khan, who runs Mr Khan’s Authentic Jamaican Food Store with his dad, said: "My deal is if you come back, pay us and apologise, then I'll take the video down, it's simple. Once people get named and shamed they don’t do it again."
He has publicly shamed around 20 people since he introduced the idea a year ago after accusing police of failing to act. The videos feature suspects being caught red-handed and have been viewed millions of times online.
Khan - who has installed more than 40 CCTV cameras in his shop - said he will post videos until police take action. He added: "We thought 'enough’s enough'. If we catch you stealing we'll put you on TikTok and Instagram and we have a big following so it’s doing the job.
"The result has been a drop in incidents because people know if they rob from here they are going straight on social media. Less and less stock is going missing. A couple of videos have had over a million views. It's gone crazy to be honest.
"Now our customers have a laugh with us about it when they come in saying 'Look, watch I’m paying for this because I don’t want to end up on social media'. We've had four or five come back and say 'we're really sorry, please will you take the video down' and pay for what they owe."
There has been a 100 per cent increase in the theft of food in the West Midlands during the cost-of-living crisis - with 3,138 products recorded stolen by West Midlands Police last year. According to Khan, theft in his store skyrocketed after the COVID-19 pandemic. He said they knew they had to take action because the police were not interested in the matter. Whenever they reported the incident, no one ever came, and they brushed it off as petty crime, he added.
The rise of middle-class shoplifting (Standard)
He said they have seen people from all walks of life, including drug addicts and well-dressed people, stealing from their store, and even an old lady was caught stealing the other day. Khan mentioned that they are aware of the current difficult times and donated produce to charity and food banks to help people where they can.
Currently, they are in talks with other businesses to create a social media page for the whole area where other shopkeepers can also post videos of suspected thieves.
A West Midlands Police spokesperson said: "We fully understand the impact and frustration of shoplifting on businesses of all sizes. It's a crime which can affect livelihoods.
"We're committed to reducing shop thefts and carry out regular high visibility patrols in retail areas, along with activity to identify and catch offenders.
Shoplifting getting worse
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said crimes such as organised shoplifting, drained more than £1,000 from over half of small business victims across England and Wales in the last two years.
One in 10 lost more than £10,000 according to research by the FSB, which added that firms also faced cybercrime and fraud. The December report, based on a survey of 560 small businesses in England and Wales, also revealed a growing number of reports of organised shoplifting and threatening behaviour towards shop owners and their staff.
More than a third of respondents said they had been affected by at least one traditional crime in the last two years, including vandalism, anti-social behaviour, burglary or robbery. Among a third of small business victims who reported the crime to the police, three in five said officers did not attend the scene and half believe the police did not investigate after the initial response.
Only 3% said the police investigated and made an arrest.