New security gates which require customers to scan a receipt to exit have been installed at a major supermarket in the city.

Customers have raised concerns over the measure, which is in place at the Sainsbury's West Hove superstore.

A message on the gates, which are not yet activated, tells shoppers to scan a barcode to exit. 

The new gates are believed to have been installed following an rise in thefts at the store, just off the Old Shoreham Road in Portslade.

The Argus: The gates have barcode scanners attachedThe gates have barcode scanners attached (Image: NQ Staff)

However, the gates have led to fears that people will end up being “held hostage” until they buy an item.

Lorraine Osborne lives near the supermarket and visits regularly to do her shopping - she is now considering boycotting Sainsbury's.

She said: "When I first saw these a few days ago, I saw them and I thought 'hold on, this is different'.

"I noticed the barrier and I see they've got a scanner on them. It seems that once you're in the shop, you're trapped.

"It's quite concerning. A lot of elderly people will not be able to use the receipt or understand how to use this system.

"Will they not be able to shop? Does this mean they are going to be trapped inside the store?

"I've got an elderly neighbour who's always coming and asking me 'how do I do this, how do I do that, how do I open my emails?' - I believe they'd struggle scanning a receipt."

The Argus: Signage on the gates say customers must scan the barcode on their receipts to exitSignage on the gates say customers must scan the barcode on their receipts to exit (Image: NQ Staff)

Lorraine, who is an accountant, questioned what the new gates would mean for people who were just browsing the store or visiting the cafe on site. 

It is not known when the new gates will be activated, however, it is understood that there will be dedicated exit points and help for people who have not made a purchase.

A spokeswoman for Sainsbury’s said: “This is not new and is just one of a range of security measures.

"It is used in a small number of our stores.”

The supermarket, one of the largest in the city, was unable to give further information about the new gates due to security reasons.