Tag Archives: shoplifting

10 April 2024 – today’s press releases

  • Government amendment on “deeply damaging” non-disclosure agreements does not go far enough to protect victims
  • Shoplifting: Govt continues to let organised gangs off the hook
  • Cole-Hamilton criticises state of sewage monitoring
  • SNP burn through ScotWind cash in record time
  • McArthur responds to opposition to assisted dying bill

Government amendment on “deeply damaging” non-disclosure agreements does not go far enough to protect victims

After tireless campaigning by Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran, the Government in the House of Lords has tabled an amendment to the Victims and Prisoners Bill that ensures non-disclosure agreements preventing victims from disclosing information to the police or other bodies (including confidential support services) cannot be legally enforced.

Responding to the tabling of this amendment, Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran said:

The Liberal Democrats have long been campaigning to end the deeply damaging practice of non-disclosure agreements. This amendment is a welcome move that will help victims to access the support they need.

But while this is a step in the right direction, the Government is not going far enough in giving victims their voice back.

We need a complete ban of NDAs in cases of sexual misconduct, harassment and bullying to ensure that no victim is silenced.

Shoplifting: Govt continues to let organised gangs off the hook

Responding to the news that assaulting a shop worker will be made a separate criminal offence in England and Wales, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson Alistair Carmichael MP said:

For too long, the Conservative Government have been sitting on their hands while hardworking shopkeepers are left to face the brunt of the shoplifting epidemic alone.

As the majority of shoplifting cases go unsolved, the Conservatives has repeatedly failed to get even the basics right of tackling this issue – something their new gimmicks won’t change.

It is now vital the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary invest in proper community policing and ensure all shoplifting thefts are investigated.

The government is currently letting organised criminal gangs off the hook and leaving shopkeepers hugely vulnerable.

Cole-Hamilton criticises state of sewage monitoring

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has called on the SNP and Greens to get tough with Scottish Water as it was revealed that in three local authorities there is no monitoring of sewage dumping at all and in ten more local authorities just one or two sites are monitored.

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The shoplifting epidemic

I live in one of those quieter outer London suburbs, but over the last few months I have noticed that larger shops have introduced higher levels of security. Some supermarkets now have a member of staff apparently on greeting duty, and others have fitted extra barriers and even gates.

A large M&S Food store near me now has gates into and out of the drinks section – I once got stuck in there when the exit gate refused to open and I couldn’t go back out through the entry gate until someone else approached it and triggered the latch. Yes, I know …..

It seems shoplifting has increased dramatically. And part of the reason is because the response rate from the police is so low, and shoplifters know they can get away with it.

Back in September an article in the Guardian carried the troubling headline: ‘It’s organised looting’: UK in grip of a shoplifting epidemic, say store owners.  It claimed that shoplifting had doubled in the last three years.

(The Co-op) claimed that police failed to respond to 71% of serious retail crimes, and that bosses were considering whether it was safe and commercially viable to keep some branches open.

Paul Gerrard, the chain’s director of public affairs and a former customs officer, described some of the shoplifting as “organised looting”, saying gangs would climb over kiosks and brazenly empty shelves into rucksacks, construction bags and even wheelie bins.

The company said it had been forced to spend more than £200m to counter criminal behaviour, with measures such as body-worn cameras and headsets for staff and “dummy” packaging for items such as £6 boxes of Ferrero Rocher chocolates and £6 jars of Kenco coffee to deter thieves from looting or “bulk-shoplifting”.

It has also hired undercover guards, often former police officers, who can detain shoplifters until police arrive. But Gerrard often feels their efforts are in vain because officers don’t always attend.

“We then have to let the shoplifters go, which actually is worse than intervening in the first place because that means they know, and they’ll tell all their mates, that even if they catch you the police don’t turn out. The point here is that the risk for an offender is minimal,” he said.

Rob Blackie, the Lib Dem candidate for London Mayor, has been looking into this problem across London. He has discovered that there have been 23,881 calls for shoplifting to the police on 999 since the beginning of the year. That is a massive increase of 49% on the comparable period last year.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 18 Comments
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