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Losspreventionguy

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  1. The honest answer is YES they can. The fact is though, if they were going to inform the police they would have done it there and then. If they contact the police and report it as a crime, then the person reporting will have to complete varying amounts of paperwork including a full witness statement. Not to mention waiting on the phone for a fair amount of time to report it in the first place. The store / security don't want to waste 2-3 hours of staff time for a £5-£6 theft. Tell your friend he has been silly and to use this as his only chance. I know plenty of security teams that DO call the police for £5-6 thefts. LPG
  2. Hi Lym89, Silverfox is correct in that the time to act has passed. The cost to benefit of viewing hours, maybe days of footage depending on when the empty box is found just isn't worth it. King is also TECHNICALLY correct in that if you were being observed at the time taking the item from the shelf, taking it into the fitting room, and then returning the box to the shelf which is found to be empty, then I would suggest that would fall into the category of REASONABLE grounds for believing you had taken the item which is covered by PACE and gives the person observing you the power to detain you. HOWEVER; in the real world, retailers change their legal definition of an arrest from REASONABLE grounds, to '110% certain' before their security will execute an arrest. In short, I don't think you need to worry about the retailer investigating this empty box and then detaining you for it at a later date. There's more chance of you finding rocking horse droppings than that happening. I do however need to address something else. I currently work for a retailer who also sells cosmetics, fragrances and health & beauty items amongst other things. You mentioned in your post that you have taken to 'sneaking items into the changing room and opening the SEALED boxes' to quality check them. As you probably already know, cosmetic items are sealed for health and hygiene purposes, and the retailer will not sell them if they have a broken seal. This is the reason retailers have testers. This is also the reason that cosmetic items are non-returnable. So what you are actually doing by opening the sealed boxes is committing the offence of criminal damage, which can also find you being detained / arrested. All very well if you then buy the item, but if you don't, then the store has lost the ability to sell it no different to if somebody had stolen it. I suggest the fact that you 'sneak' the items into the changing rooms to do this means you know what you are doing is wrong. The above may sound harsh, but I'm just being honest and trying to give you the facts. Remember, whilst you can't return cosmetic items if they aren't suitable (my employer allows this if the seals aren't broken), if the item is broken then it constitutes a faulty item which the retailer is obliged to at least exchange, under your statutory rights. My suggestion to you is, if you are using the same retailer to purchase your cosmetic items from and you are constantly finding them broken, then either the retailer or their supplier aren't treating their stock very well, and I suggest you use another retailer. All the best LPG
  3. A Community Resolution, like others have said, is basically an agreement between the police, the store, and yourself that’s says, instead of being arrested and prosecuted, we are going to deal with it here and now. You should have been issued with a form that the police filled in and you had to sign. It’s a small A5 carbonated form that when is done, is split amongst the three of you. The police keep the white copy, the victim (in this case the store) keeps the yellow copy, and the offender (in this case you) keeps the green copy. On this form there is a section for the police to put what has been agreed - for the majority of my jobs, it simply says ‘exclusion order served’ for some it may be a letter of apology (which isn’t a bad idea whether it is in the CR or not). NB if anybody is interested and wants to see a CR form, let me know and I’ll pull one out, redact the information and post it. Like others have said it is not a criminal conviction, so you would be telling the truth to say you have no convictions (as long as you didn’t have any prior to this). It is recorded on police systems though. So if you are required to have an enhanced disclosure as part of your job (which from what I understand - a teacher does need) it MAY show up. Ultimately, it’s down to the person processing your enhanced disclosure to decide whether it is relevant to the role. So really it’s in the lap of the gods. I’m sorry and I know it’s not what you want to hear but I’m just being honest - I don’t mind admitting that I really wouldn’t know which way that would go, as to whether they would deem it relevant. It basically comes down to dishonesty - so if you were going for a job that involved you being in charge of money - it would certainly be disclosed. Teaching? I’m not too sure. As others have said. Simply ignore RLP. Please see your GP and put an end to this pattern of behaviour before it becomes worse. I wish you the best of luck. LPG
  4. Hi Loopylass. You will find the people here are very helpful and try not to judge - we all make silly decisions at some point. Swapping prices on items is actually seen as more serious than shoplifting, because it is actually fraud - and should it have gone to court - it would have been dealt with as such. So please, if you ever have those gremlins tempting you to do it again, don’t. BankFodder is absolutely correct in what he says. The fact you didn’t realise your daughter put some items in the pram would have been negated by your offence. Also, and I say this with respect, it is your responsibility as to what your daughter does. If your child was to pick something up whilst shopping, all they need to do is see you on CCTV looking at your daughter just once for a second (which I’m sure you would do at some point whilst you are shopping) and that’s game set and match. So without presuming to tell you how to do your job as a parent, please keep an eye on her whilst shopping from now on, now you know she has a penchant for grabbing stuff, to make sure it doesn’t happen again. With regards the ‘fine’ - take note of what everybody here and in the hundreds of other threads are saying. Firstly it’s not a fine. Us security and Loss Prevention staff have NO powers to issue fines. A letter will come from RLP. And like everybody else says, ignore them. They will eventually send it to a debt collector, who you can also ignore. They prey on the fear to pay up. I’ve not known a case where RLP or a debt collector have legally enforced this debt in nearly 15 years. If your mum doesn’t open your post then I would stick to the ignore them advice everybody is giving. However if you are genuinely worried about your mum finding out I would simply send their letter back with “not at this address” written over the envelope. I don’t recommend having ANY sort of contact with RLP - but this may be the safest way to try to stop the letters from going to your mothers. Certainly don’t phone them - this will make them believe they have you on the hook. Please take the advice from the kind members here about seeking help for why you’ve made this decision, particularly if this is becoming a regular thing - remember we aren’t judging you - and see your GP. Take care. LPG
  5. You are mostly right. The powers of arrest that Loss Prevention staff have are exactly the same powers as you have to detain somebody who has broken into your car, for example. These powers are granted to us under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. It is sometimes called a 'citizen's arrest.' We don't really 'read their rights' in this country. For an arrest to be legal, you have to identify yourself and inform the offender what they are being arrested for as soon as reasonably practicable. This goes for both Police and private citizens. The police then caution the arrested person "you do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence etc etc" Now, best practice in most companies (including the one I work for now) is that LP caution the offender before engaging in conversation with them. I personally steer clear of doing this if I can help it as it can very quickly turn a calm cordial situation into a fraught one as you sound very much like a 'wannabe copper.' I prefer the term 'detain' to 'arrest' for the very reason above - decent Loss Prevention teams are often tarred with the same brush as the 'wannabe coppers' but in reality, to pinch a few words from the legal definition of an arrest - you are depriving somebody of their liberty in order that they answer a criminal charge, so by detaining somebody for an offence, you are in fact arresting them.
  6. I 100% agree with you. But alas, you are correct in that at the moment at least, it is a pipe dream. The lack of police involvement in retail crime at the moment is very concerning. In fact, a colleague of mine who works in a different area to me was told by a Sergeant "unless it's kicking off don't call us, we wont come - regardless of value" Now, you will not find anybody more supportive of our police force and the officers who put their lives on the line every day than me - but for an officer to actually state "we won't turn up" is quite frankly, disgusting and plain wrong - regardless of the offence. Some years back, the police changed their KPI mechanism, so instead of focusing on particular crimes (usually robbery, burglary and vehicle theft) they simply went to Detected Crimes and Undetected Crimes. When I called in a shoplifter that I had arrested you wouldn't believe the amount of officers fighting and arguing over who came to the job - because a well trained, experienced LP or Store Detective would, by the time the police arrived, have written their own witness statement, burned the CCTV footage, exhibited it in evidence bags etc etc. All they needed to do was arrest the offender, go straight into interview and job done. Easy detected crime for their figures. The 'decriminalisation' of shoplifting has been going for some time now, from the system above, we then went to on the spot fines / fixed penalties, to community resolution / restorative justice. And now, they quite frankly simply don't turn up - and when they do, they do whatever is in their power to avoid actually arresting the offender. I don't blame the officers one bit. This is mandated from way above their ranks. There HAS to be a deterrent when it comes to ANY crime really. Retail crime is no exception. Arrest was a deterrent. Even an on the spot fine was a deterrent (albeit not a very good one). They have both gone. The only deterrent left is Civil Recovery. i.e. 'If you shoplift from us it will cost you a lot of money.' In a way I can't really blame the retailers - what else are they to do? I am in no way defending RLP here by the way - I think they are a bunch of ambulance chasing vultures. It's only my opinion Silverfox, but unfortunately I think that far from seeing the back of RLP - I think we are going to see a major push in their direction as retailers run out of other avenues to pursue. Sorry for the rant!
  7. Hi DX, Quite frankly, yes. Companies decide at head office level who to use, usually RLP as they are the most prominent, and procedures are in place that state that, provided the offender meets the referral criteria - Civil Recovery must be served upon them (It's actually a simple mass photocopied A4 piece of paper that you just give to the detained person). Failure to do so can result in disciplinary action against the Loss Prevention Officer / Store Detective etc. There is one company in particular that analyse their Civil Recovery referral rate vs arrests and are very aggressive in their pursuit of it, analysing the submitted arrests and if they see no reason as to why certain arrests weren't referred to RLP then their Loss Prevention are brought into an interview to explain why.
  8. No, it's not pedantic at all. You are correct it was indeed a choice that, in retrospect, I hope the OP realises was a big mistake to make! I just try to be a nice guy and give them the benefit of remorse Just to add Silverfox, You give fantastic advice here (you helped me on CAG in a previous life, as I mentioned in a different thread), and I feel I maybe am encroaching slightly as the long term members here already give good sound advice, however I would like to give back by giving the (hopefully) benefit of my experience and knowledge - and unfortunately this is the only thing I am knowledgeable about! Thanks for the warning re: DX - I will make sure that word is scrubbed from my CAG vocabulary!
  9. Hi Silverfox, and thank you for the welcome. Whilst I agree that RLP do indeed prey on the worry of consumers or attempt to intimidate them into coughing up, I can only refer to my own experience, in that I have been serving Civil Recovery on people for close to 15 years (please don't judge me!). You have to telephone RLP to report the incident (although they have now do online reporting too), and before you get into the particulars of the offender, or incident, they ask a couple of questions, such as "is the offender under 16 or over 65?" and "did the offender pay for the goods at any time?" If the answer to any of the prerequisite questions is Yes, then they end the submission there and then. Whilst of course I am not doubting you - I'm wondering how they fell through the cracks? Perhaps they were very old cases, or the person reporting it neglected to mention to RLP that the offender paid for the goods? Who knows.
  10. This one is very simple. They cannot issue civil recovery against you because you paid for the goods you had taken. If you read back in this forum you will notice that when people are detained for theft, and they offer to pay for the goods they are refused - this is because they cannot issue civil recovery against them if they do. So you won’t hear from RLP at all. If they try to even contact RLP regarding this case, it is one of the first questions that is asked by RLP, before even the name of the offender - Did the offender pay for the items? If the answer is yes, it isn’t even continued. So don’t worry about that. The same goes for the police. Once you made payment, as far as the police are concerned - the matter is dealt with. They won’t touch it with a barge pole. There was no crime, only an ‘incident’ that was dealt with between the interested parties. Regarding past offences, there is no chance. Quite simply - for a start CCTV images are only retained for a maximum of 31 days. And even if there was something to find in the last 31 days, they would have to watch days of footage to find the few seconds you were at the self scan. They would have to pay somebody £8-9 an hour, for a few days to sit and watch to try to find evidence of a theft of a couple of pounds. Spending hundreds of pounds. It just won’t happen. Learn from your mistake, put it out of your mind and move on my friend. LPG
  11. This thread is probably dead now and the OP probably isn’t monitoring it now, but whilst I agree that RLP will do nothing to get ‘their money’ it is worth mentioning that if the OP continues this pattern of offending and continues to rack up civil recovery ‘debt’ there is always the slight RISK that it will eventually amount to enough for it to be financially worth it for them to go to court for it, and I’m sorry, but as soon as the court sees an habitual pattern of theft - they will win. Unlikely i know, but not beyond the realms of possibility. Don’t give them that opportunity and nip it in the bud now. That being said I think RLP, as mentioned before, is the least of your problems. Given that you have been CAUGHT three times, and the general (unofficial) rule of thumb is caught 1 in 10 times, there is a strong possibility you have probably shoplifted many times to get to the stage you are now (unless you really are that bad at it / unlucky) - and you should be tremendously thankful you haven’t been arrested and prosecuted. Please get help for the behavioural issues that are causing this. Speak to your GP and be open and honest and they can refer you to more focussed help. All the best LPG
  12. The other replies here are absolutely right. Ignore RLP - I have over 10 years experience dealing with Civil Recovery and trust us when we tell you - nothing will happen, but please do prepare yourself for some quite intimidating letters. These will initially be from RLP, then they will be from a debt recovery company - just rip them up and throw them in the bin. Try not to worry about them. With regards to the ticket swapping, most people see this or tell themselves that as they are paying (albeit not the correct amount) that it is less serious than shoplifting. The offence is actually obtaining property by deception, which although is covered by the Theft Act 1968, is actually dealt with as fraud, and is seen as more serious than actual shoplifting. Strange, I know, as the losses are usually less. So please learn from your one off mistake and be thankful that it hasn’t been dealt with in a more serious matter. Ericsbrother is 100% correct that the police are using a disposal method called restorative justice (in some areas this is called community resolution) and the general idea is that instead of going to court, and prosecuting offenders - it gives them the opportunity to “make amends” so, for example somebody who graffiti’s somebody’s wall, instead of being prosecuted for criminal damage, will paint the wall etc. A CR in shopifiting terms is often just admitting the offence and accepting the banning order from the company. In your case, this includes an apology letter. As per the advice from others in this thread - write the letter. It’s a good offer quite frankly. You will not have a criminal record, it will not be recorded as a conviction. However, this will be recorded on a police system called IMS (Intelligence Management System). A simple criminal record check will reveal nothing - but should you commit a similar offence again (I’m sure this won’t be the case) police checks will show that you have been dealt with by CR before, and this then will not be an available method to use most likely resulting in arrest and prosecution. Also, it should be worth nothing that if you are asked for a DBS (criminal records check) this will show nothing (assuming you have no other convictions). But some jobs require what’s called an Enhanced Disclosure. This also covers information on IMS. It’s up to the person supplying the information to decide whether the information on IMS is relevant to the role. So if you were applying for a job as a cash in transit operative, or in a bank, you will most likely find it a bit difficult. I appreciate the last bit sounds a bit scary, but I honestly wouldn’t worry. RLP can do nothing, and provided you stay out of trouble in the future you can just move on and forget it ever happened. Hope this helps. LPG
  13. Hi Everyone, I have been helped on these forums in the past in matters of finance and debt by the amazing people on this forum who give up their time to help people who they have never met. I’ve never been able to repay them. I am a Loss Prevention professional with 15 years experience, in various roles ranging from Store Detective in my early years to Internal Investigator to Area Loss Prevention Manager. I have worked for Littlewoods, H&M, Marks and Spencer, Debenhams and TK Maxx amongst others. I am currently employed in Loss Prevention for a major well known national retailer. It’s all I know really, but I’d like to think I know it well. So the least I can do to repay the help I received, is to help those who need it in my area of expertise. I appreciate the above isn’t relevant to this particular case, so I thought I’d give my tuppence worth to this because reading it has made me feel quite upset and angry. Jessicax, hello. What I want to make perfectly clear to you is that you have NOT committed any kind of offence. No crime at all. Putting something in your handbag or shopping bag is not a crime. In fact, since the clampdown on single use carrier bags we are seeing it all the time. People using their own bags to do their shopping and putting items in their bag before taking it to the payment points. So please don’t worry that you have done something wrong (if you are worrying about that) because you HAVEN’T. Like others have said, this appears to be a gross overstep by somebody who is clearly not acting in the best interests of the company. Whilst it is true that anybody can be banned or excluded for any reason, indeed for NO reason sometimes, if this was one of my guys I would be furious. Sainsbury’s tend to use contract uniformed security guards these days, can you confirm if they were wearing a security uniform or Sainsbury’s uniform? Indeed, like others have suggested, the best course of action would be to write to the store manager, copying in the CEO. They will not want to lose a paying customer especially a customer who is clearly ill and still manages to make the effort to spend money in their store. Should you require help in drafting an email / letter, feel free to PM me and I’ll be happy to help. LPG
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