BOOK REVIEW: Store Detective Shares her Memories

The Westmorland Gazette: Memoirs of a Store Detective Memoirs of a Store Detective

Memoirs of a Store Detective by Christine Smith, £9.99 ISBN 978-0-722343234


This quirky biography is a true account of Christine Smith’s work as a Cumbrian store detective in the sixties and seventies.

Store detectives came into their own around this time because of the shopping revolution which allowed customers to wander unaccompanied around large department stores, handling the goods before taken them to the counter to buy.

Mrs Smith, from Wigton, seems to have grasped the finer points of store-detecting rather quickly. Within two hours of her first official shift starting Mrs Smith had nabbed her first shoplifter.

During her career, she apprehended hundreds of shoplifters - most of them women - and she worked under the constant fear of being assaulted while apprehending a miscriant in the street outside the store.

But perhaps just as unnerving, however, was the worry that she might have apprehended an innocent person.


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