Displaying photos of trespassed shoplifters in Rotorua stores is an "archaic" shaming tactic, a local business owner says.
However, another store owner says shoplifting at his business dropped dramatically after he started posting videos of alleged offenders online and believes if people "want privacy they shouldn't do silly things".
Two Rotorua supermarkets recently removed photo boards of suspected shoplifters.
Kaya Sparke, who owns FTP Vegan Eats, believes displaying photos of people who have been trespassed from stores serves no purpose other than to "shame people".
"It's a shaming tactic that's a little bit archaic."
She told the Rotorua Daily Post the practice was becoming "obsolete" and, in her view, it achieved nothing other than publicly shaming people and their families.
"It doesn't benefit anyone. It's the staff that need to know who is trespassed, not customers."
It also failed to acknowledge why people might shoplift and that some in the community were suffering from poverty and could not afford food, she said.
"I expect us to be doing better in this day and age."
However, Charanjit Dhillon, who owns Bottle-O liquor stores in both Rotorua and Tauranga and posted shoplifting videos on social media, said it was a deterrent and "100 per cent the best solution" to shoplifting.
He said his shoplifting numbers dropped dramatically after he started posting CCTV videos on social media.
Once a video was posted, he said within a day someone had told them who it was and they could pass the information on to police.
He said his stores had not been subject to shoplifters since and he believed it was because they were worried about friends and family members seeing the videos online.
He had previous shoplifters who had been through the justice system come back and apologise to him and clean up their act.
When asked his views on these videos and photos breaching the privacy of shoplifters, he said: "if they want privacy they shouldn't do silly things".
"You want to steal, that's your privacy gone."
Rotorua's Westend New World and Edmund Rd Four Square had previously had a board of shoplifters displayed in store, however, the photos were removed after the Rotorua Daily Post approached Foodstuffs about it last month.
Foodstuffs New Zealand's head of corporate affairs Antoinette Laird said Foodstuffs did not recommend the display of noticeboards in stores to identify people who might have previously committed crimes in the stores - despite store security, and in particular, theft, being an increasing issue.
"The boards at New World Westend and Four Square Edmund Rd have been removed."
Rotorua's Fresh Choice supermarket also displayed photos of shoplifters but declined to comment when approached by the Rotorua Daily Post.
Acting director of the New Zealand Police's evidence-based policing centre, Simon Williams, said while it was not illegal for businesses to display security camera photos and post them on social media, police advised against doing so.
He said businesses had to be "absolutely sure" the person in the photo was or had been shoplifting otherwise they could run into trouble in terms of privacy breaches and defamation.
According to a police spokeswoman, CCTV footage cannot be used in isolation to charge a shoplifter.
She said in order to file charges, police must conduct an investigation and consider a range of evidence including this footage.
Displaying CCTV images in store or online can "harm current or future police investigations or derail legal proceedings", she said.
People should instead supply these images directly to the police to follow as appropriate, she said.
Many shops the Rotorua Daily Post visited did not have shoplifter photos on the wall but instead had extensive CCTV monitors at the entrance to show people they were on camera.