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Having your bag checked

Many retail shops choose to do bag checks to prevent theft. Bag checks are voluntary, but they will usually be part of the shop’s conditions of entry. You have the right to know if a shop does bag checks before you go in.

A shop should:

  • put their conditions of entry (including bag checks) on a sign
  • display this sign at every entrance.

When you go into a shop with a sign like this, you agree to the conditions. Do not enter if you don’t agree.

Conditions of entry

The conditions will set out what they will ask to check. This may include:

  • bags
  • parcels or containers
  • prams or trolleys.

If you bring an item into the shop with you, you may need to have proof of purchase. The conditions of entry should set out the shop’s policy about this.

If you refuse to follow these conditions, the retailer can ask you to:

  • leave the shop
  • not return until you agree to follow the conditions of entry.

Doing the check

When doing a bag check, the shop attendant:

  • shouldn’t touch your bag or any items in it
  • may require you to move items in your bag to let them see inside easily
  • must not forcibly search your bag without your permission (if they do so, they may be liable for assault).