8:00am Saturday 28th July 2012
By Hardeep Matharu
A woman has slammed a Superdrug store for wrongly accusing her of being a shoplifter - and then offering her vouchers to compensate for the public humiliation.
Kim McFarland, 48, and her 13-year-old son, were subjected to the embarrassing ordeal by the Superdrug store on Banstead High Street in April.
Ms McFarland, who lives in Mitcham but regularly visits her poorly mother in Banstead, paid for shower gel, took her receipt and left the store - only to be followed by police officers who informed her that staff at the shop believed she had stolen jewellery.
With no security alarms having gone off as she left the store, and CCTV footage proving her innocence, Superdrug admitted it had made a mistake.
But Ms McFarland was disgusted that it offered her £50 of store vouchers, instead of launching a full investigation into the matter.
She said they had admitted their procedures were at fault but she had to battle to even get an apology.
She said: "I was absolutely shocked and humiliated.
"It was degrading to be searched in public - and the police officers found nothing.
"Normal standard procedure is that if the alarm goes off, you can approach the person.
"When the officers came back to me from looking at the CCTV they said there was no evidence of anything having been stolen and that Superdrug had over-stepped the mark.
"I was so upset. I have never stolen anything or been in trouble with the law.
"We were treated like criminals.
"My son had to witness me being searched and it was so embarrassing as people were walking up and down the street.
"And they just tried to palm me off with store vouchers.
"They could now treat somebody else the same way and need to learn they can’t."
A spokeswoman for Superdrug said: "We have apologised in writing to Ms McFarland for any distress or upset caused and would like to apologise again."
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