Romford’s Boots’ ‘heavy-handed’ shop security team criticised

A community nurse who suffered a panic attack after being wrongly accused of shoplifting at a Romford Boots store has called on the high street chain to review its “heavy-handed” security policy.

Humiliated Bridget Rider was marched back to the store by two security guards from The Brewery shop after CCTV opertives said they had seen her steal a perfume set.


Bridget, of Birch Road, Romford, had picked up the item but returned it to a shelf and left to get her store loyalty card from her car.

She said: “Two huge guards ran after me saying I had been seen taking a gift set. They were aggressive and treating me like a criminal. It was so heavy-handed – I was terrified and embarrassed.

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“I kept telling them I had put the perfume back and they kept repeating they had footage of me taking it and marched me back in.”

Inside the store Bridget was subject to yet more questioning by managers, who said shoplifitng was a problem at this time of year.

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She claims the situation triggered the panic attack.

She said: “I am a community nurse and my job relies on reputation, that could have been destroyed if one of my clients or their family had seen that.”

She added: “I’ve never had a panic attack before but imagine if they had done that to someone with a heart problem or an elderly person, it could have been a different story.

“Boots needs to review how they handle those situations.”


A shop worker said she found the gift set where Bridget left it.

Bridget was offered a �100 gift voucher as an apology but rejected it.

A Boots spokesman said: “We work with our external contractor, who employs store security, to ensure customers are dealt with efficiently, courteously and professionally.

“We are sorry for the distress caused by this incident and have apologised to this customer to offer our apologies. We will be taking the appropriate action to prevent recurrences.”

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