Store Detective

Job Description:

Store detectives prevent shoplifting in retail outlets and shopping centres.

Job Category:
Retail & Consumer

What you will do:

You could:

  • follow shoppers or staff who behave suspiciously
  • call the police to describe what you’ve seen
  • take evidence from witnesses
  • write short reports
  • give evidence in court
  • prevent anyone trying to leave the store with stolen goods


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • knowledge of English language
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

As well as:

  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork)
  • the ability to use your initiative (drive)
  • customer service skills
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

You can get into this job through:

  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly

UK apprenticeships relevant to this role include Level 3 Security first line manager

Direct Application
You could apply directly for jobs if you’ve got relevant experience in retail security, or from working in the police, armed forces or a security company.

You’ll need to:

  • have a good level of fitness
  • be over 18 years of age
  • pass enhanced background checks

Employers will carry out checks on your personal and work history, which could go back up to 10 years.

In the UK, you may need a security licence issued by the Security Industry Authority (SIA) for certain jobs. You can complete relevant SIA approved training if you need to get one.

You might also need a driving licence and access to a vehicle.

Working Hours and Environment:

You could work at a store or in a court.

Your working environment may be crowded.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience you could progress to a senior post, like supervisor or security manager.

You could also become self-employed and work on contracts for stores.