Christmas Day shoplifting incident the final straw for retailer

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A high-profile retailer has reached the end of his tether over the lack of police response to retail crime following an in-store shoplifting incident on Christmas Day.

Spar Lindford in Hampshire suffered a theft of multiple cases of Coca-Cola by a group of three males on 25 December, but the police refused to take action. The store is also recovering from an ATM ram-raid last year.

Store owner Julian Taylor-Green told C-Store: “We are completely on our own. Just constantly being told there’s nothing the police can do.

“We were open on Christmas day for a few hours with a few employees on, including myself, and three lads came in and looked like they were going to try and nick alcohol. They saw that we had quite a few people on that day and got spooked. They grabbed some cases of coke next to the front door and ran.

“We pulled the CCTV down and emailed it off to the police. But, we’ve been told they aren’t going to do anything. It was apparently an insignificant value and not a good use of police time. Anybody can walk in and out and take something and get away with it because it isn’t high value to police. It is getting worse and worse. If it’s under £75 they will not respond.”

Julian took to social media in an attempt to self-police. “We put the CCTV stills out on Facebook and got over 12,000 hits on Facebook page because of that. We’ve been told they’ve been banned from other stores in the area and were forwarded their names and addresses and so on by people.

“We passed all this information onto the police but we have now been told that the people in the property aren’t known to them so they cannot do anything about it. I’ve spoken to police who were sympathetic and say it falls out of home office guidelines so can’t really help. It leaves the business very vulnerable,” he added.

On average, each convenience store spends £4,242 on crime prevention per year, with CCTV the top area for investment, according to the ACS crime report 2018.

Readers' comments (3)

  • It may be “insignificant” in isolation but how often are shoplifters committing these offences? If they know the police won’t even bother to arrest them then where’s the deterrent? They could be stealing thousands of pounds worth of good every day from various retailers, which is significant. It’s funny how the police still find the resources to arrest people for minor crimes like possessing a small amount of weed or saying something silly on social media. They’ve got their priorities all wrong.

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  • Facewatch provide shop keepers a way to deter crime before it happens using facial recognition. A camera is set up above the entrance of the shop door, When a person enters the premises, if they are a SOI, an alert is sent to a chosen person on site. It's then up to the store to decide if the image is a match and then deal with the SOI how they wish. The technology is affordable, in fact, more cost effective than the average annual store spend on crime prevention as quoted by CS.
    Contact Facewatch for more information or a live demo on 0207 930 3225

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  • Metropolitan Police had soaring levels of crime involving mopeds as getaway vehicles once word got around they had stopped pursuing criminals on mopeds, now they are back not only pursing criminals using mopeds but knocking them off! ….. there has now been a 40% drop in this crime within six months.

    We all know the book smart halfwits who have been fast tracked up to Police top jobs are going to end up back tracking on this one.

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