Shoplifting law: Facing criminal charges for shoplifting

Shoplifting law

Shoplifting law: Facing criminal charges for shoplifting

If you run a retail business, you’ll already know what a problem shoplifting can be. But what are your rights as a shopkeeper?

Spotting a shoplifter

Each shoplifter will exhibit different behaviors, but some signs are typical. For example, if an individual is obviously trying not to be noticed, and looks hot and flushed, this can be suspicious. Another warning bell is if they are repeatedly picking items up and putting them down in the same area and looking around them.

Clothing is another giveaway. Shoplifters often wear clothing that is inappropriate for the weather – such as a big coat on a hot day – which they will use to hide items. They may also be carrying a sizeable bag for the same purpose. (Authority URL: British Retail Consortium)

Organized tactics

Organized thieves may well collide in groups to distract staff so that a shoplifter can take items without being spotted. Staff also sometimes collide with shoplifters. Some may switch over prices, and others will steal money by bringing back ‘fake’ returns – which can be stolen. Accidental stealing is also common, where the thief will pay for a single item, with another being held in view. If challenged, they will simply say it was accidental.

Detaining shoplifters

Primarily, you should take care of your – and your staff’s – personal safety, and train staff in these procedures. Staff must witness the theft rather than simply suspecting it. This will be a citizen’s arrest and it must only happen in certain circumstances. Because of the ‘reasonable force’ clause, this can be a difficult area, and most businesses prefer to have specialist security provision in the form of security guards.

It is well worth hiring the services of security guards in Gloucester who will be trained in the latest legislation and methods so that you can deliver effective and compliant stock control. contact Cuffgroup Security for more information about security guards. Invest in a good security system for extra peace of mind.

Also, be mindful of staff theft. Although it is less of a problem in the UK, compared to the USA, the values involved are typically sevenfold than the theft committed by a customer. Look carefully at your procedures and processes, particularly around stock control and delivery takes.

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