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Security-sealed meat boxes used to thwart thieves.

Meat joints at a Herne Bay supermarket have been locked away in security-sealed boxes to deter thieves.

Iceland in Mortimer Street has resorted to using the 'lamb saver boxes' - normally used to protect more expensive goods - in a bid to thwart shoplifters.

Herne Bay Motor Cycles boss Simon Wightman said he is “disgusted and saddened” by the lengths stores are having to go to protect their goods.

He spoke out after it emerged Iceland was even considering putting cheese in plastic security boxes.

The dad-of-three, from Greenhill, said: “I just think it is sad that people feel they have to steal from Iceland to survive. What’s the world coming to? When I saw them I couldn’t believe it.

“Someone trying to swipe something expensive from Marks & Spencer you can almost understand.

“But pinching meat from Iceland? What’s next: an electric fence around the fish fingers?”

His partner Gemma Hogan said: “When I laughed at the boxes the woman at the checkout said they are even planning to put cheese in security boxes.

“Apparently so many people steal it. It’s ridiculous. They stuff it down their trousers and run out.”

Mr Wightman added: “You can understand them wanting the boxes because even when their security guards catch someone they can’t sell the cheese – it’s been down someone’s pants!”

Sheepish Iceland spokesman Amy Goble said: “The lamb saver boxes are used in several hundred Iceland stores and are designed to enhance the availability of the product for customers.

“The boxes are designed to serve as a defence mechanism to reduce theft and thereby ensure there is maximum availability for customers.”

Herne Bay Chamber of Commerce chairman Michael Khoury described the move as “below the belt”.

He said: “This is going too far. If that is their policy across hundreds of stores then there is something wrong with their sales team.

“People will go to the butcher instead. In any business you expect to lose around 7% with things dropped, stolen and so on. But security boxes around the ingredients for your roast? That is below the belt and going too far.”

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