International News - Dutch retail staff may be blacklisted for stealing

Retail staff who steal goods from their employers in the Netherlands may be blacklisted from working for other store groups.

The Dutch retail association, PlatformDetailhandel, is planning to create a 'warning list' of staff who have been fired for stealing.

PlatformDetailhandel shop crime prevention manager Sjoerd Veenstra said that the initiative is in response to the fact that the police force is too overstretched to deal with the 1,000 crimes against retailers - from shoplifting to fraud - every month.

He claimed the police only respond to 40 per cent of such cases, losing Dutch retailers EUR500 million (£336.3 million) each year - and a third of crimes are committed by staff.

'More and more Dutch retailers sack their personnel and that just shifts the problem towards another retailer,' said Veenstra. 'So, for that reason the Dutch retail association got the idea to set up a database that will do not more and not less than register the personnel that have been sacked because of fraud.'

PlatformDetailhandel has yet to work out how the scheme will fit with the Netherlands' data protection act. The organisation also has not yet decided how much it will cost retailers to take part. Veenstra added: 'We are waiting for approval of the Dutch authorities on privacy protection. We will co-operate with banks and insurance companies that already have such a database.'