John Lewis has gone live with a networked CCTV system at its Leicester Highcross store, which opened last week.

John Lewis has already installed the IndigoVision system at its Liverpool and Cambridge stores and has completed a partial upgrade to the technology in nine other stores in the past 12 months.

The retailer said that the system is providing a successful deterrent against theft and protecting its customers and staff, especially at the point of sale.

Apart from being easily scalable, the IP system includes a management tool that allows John Lewis to search, analyse and play back footage on a PC.

John Lewis development manager for business protection Paul Newbury said that the IP system could help improve productivity within the store-based business protection teams.

He explained: “My view is that monitoring CCTV for every minute of the day isn’t always the best use of resources.

“The beauty of this system is the digital facility to search for incidents. That makes it much more resource friendly and the clarity of the footage means it provides much better evidence to give to the police.”

Another reason the system was chosen is that footage can be viewed remotely across the retailer’s IT network, such as at its head office.

The system will be used for all the retailer’s planned store openings, as well as the distribution centre it is opening at Magna Park near Milton Keynes. Newbury added John Lewis is considering how the roll-out of the system could be incorporated into its major branch refurbishments.

The department store giant will also assess how it could integrate the CCTV system with other loss-prevention technologies such as its data-mining tool in future. It is also trialling an electronic article surveillance system for the first time in two stores.