I am extremely ashamed of my actions but on 23rd August 2014 I was caught stealing from Primark (Goods worth around £59). I am 21 years of age. I have never stolen anything and have never been in any trouble with the law.
Yesterday I received a letter from RLP and they have asked for ‘A fixed contrition to all the losses is therefore sought in the sum of £130’. The £130 will apparently settle the claim and I have 21 days to pay.
I think it is worth explaining the details of the incident:
Once I walked out with the goods, a security guard stopped me and asked me to walk with him to the detention rooms downstairs. On arrival another man asked me if I had stolen the items and out of fear and regret; I told the truth about everything. Things got progressively worse. The man asked me about my ethnic background and I told him and he called a third security man into the room saying he was from the same country as me and said ‘Here’s one of your cousins’ to the man. Later another comment ‘Teach your wife a lesson’. This security man was then sent to calculate the cost of the goods. As I had other shopping with me (Matalan and Poundshop) the receipt of these goods were also looked at which was all fine. My Matalan shopping included baby clothes and Poundland shopping had baby wipes which were for my niece who was staying over at my house and the security man said to me ‘your child would be ashamed’. The security guard also had me empty the contents of my handbag which included a novel I was reading and another sarcastic remark was made ‘so beauty and brains, but you still want to steal’. A female security member (of European background) was also present who was taking my details from my provisional license and she made a comment ‘If this happened to me in your country, my hands would have been chopped off’ I am not even from the middle east so making such a remark was uncalled for.
On my arrival at the detention room, there was already a girl there who only had one security member in the room with her. My point is that at one time there were probably at least 4-5 security members in the room. My letter from RLP states that I am covering the losses of Primark’s business and their security loss. Security clearly had no reason to have that many people in a small room and all they were doing is bullying, patronising, intimidating and making racial remarks at me!
My questions are:
Should I be paying RLP the outstand settlement of £130? (I have read many threads saying to not pay RLP a penny but I am very confused as my number one priority is to get them off my back and never have to deal with this again).
If I do pay the £130, will RLP be seeking more money from me? (the letter is titles ‘Letter before claim’ so I am wondering if this will follow with another letter asking for more money).
If I don’t pay, will debt collectors harass me?
Will my credit history or rating be affected?
Could I be summoned to court or go to jail?
Do you think a visit to Citizens Advice would help?
I am extremely stressed out and feel as though this is affecting my everyday life. Please help with any advice and anything I can do moving forward. The experience has left me humiliated and distressed.
I would be happy to send a photo of the letter I was sent from RLP to make clearer the settlement issue. I feel like I do not fully understand it.