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  1. Sainsbury's have responded saying that DWP shouldn't have written to our son and they apologised, but gave the excuse that our son's date of birth wasn't put on the incident form by the store security. They said DWP will not pursue the matter further and that the person dealing with my complaint will take up my concerns with the store security internally. They said that they don't have to follow same rules as police (by having an appropriate adult there) but that if I would like them to report this to the police then to let them know (which I read as a rather unpleasant threat).
  2. Sorry dx100uk, I didn't realise it was legal to send a 14 year old, without parent knowledge, a demand for arbitrary amounts of money for no costs incurred, or for Sainsbury's to take a vulnerable child who doesn't know his legal rights, into an isolated room away from the public to question him without an appropriate adult or informing anyone else (tantamount to kidnap in my opinion). I really appreciate all the helpful comments given by members of the site team, but don't quite get some of the points you have made or why you are making them.
  3. Thanks, unclebulgaria67. That does make sense and I totally get the points you've made and why this has support - clearly police haven't the resources and shouldn't have to be involved in low value shoplifting and yet it must be very frustrating for retailers. My focus is obviously on the situation in which my son found himself in, how he was dealt with and the total lack of appreciation for safeguarding/welfare rights. I find extremely worrying (also on behalf of vulnerable children and adults) that they feel it was ok to treat a vulnerable child like this with no parental contact or appropriate adult there protecting him. And then the letter sent to my child by DWF was outrageous in every respect.
  4. Hi Homer67, yes - believe me I am doing what I can to raise this issue and get answers. What I find quite depressing is that the CAB 'Uncivil Recovery' investigation/evidence briefing did not seem to make a difference when it comes to law making as, 11 years on, this practice is still widespread - targeting low value shoplifters to scare them into paying large amounts in civil recovery when it's not right or legally binding. Fattening the pockets of cowboy law firms and major retailers through fear and ignorance. I guess politicians don't want to spend time on what the general public may view as protecting rights of shoplifters - not vote-worthy material. I'm sure my story would provoke a lot of scornful, ignorant comments focusing on how awful my son is to shoplift and how we must be terrible parents, while completely overlooking the outrageous, illegal, immoral and dangerous behaviours of these major retailers and their side kick law firms. I am doing what I can to raise this issue and get answers.
  5. Thank you so much to all the responses. We, as parents, are deeply concerned that Sainsbury's and DWF have acted in such a shocking manner. I keep going back to the thought of what more vulnerable adults and children might do faced with such circumstances. Anyone who is a parent will know that they would want to be informed. The experience of being caught and banned has had a terrifying effect on my son, so we are reassured this behaviour won't be repeated. But to send him such an unlawful letter demanding money they have no legal basis to demand - that is really, really wrong. I am going to shout this from the roof tops as much as I can to call out Sainsbury's and DWF. Parents should know about this and not be scared into paying money to these sharks.
  6. A crime in my eyes, but even if my son is classed as criminally responsible, he is still legally a minor and so surely shouldn't be sent a demand for money or questioned in a back room of Sainsbury's without parents being informed? I'm stumped. How can we respond/react/try to put things right as parents if we aren't informed?
  7. My 14 year old son shoplifted sweets from Sainsbury's to the value of £8.25 and was caught, questioned in a back room, banned and then sent on his way. All without any parent contact or an independent adult there when he was questioned. Never been in trouble before. Police not contacted. A week later, a letter was sent addressed to my 14-year old son from DWF Law LLP (see attachment - names deleted), acting on behalf of Sainsbury's, demanding £158.25 - £150 for security costs and £8.25 for value of goods stolen (which were returned undamaged at the time of being caught). Still we were not informed - no communication at all with us, the parents. Suffice to say we will not be paying this as I believe DWF Law LLP have made unlawful threats to a minor and acted with complete disregard to the welfare of a minor. From my understanding of threads here, they don't have a legal leg to stand on. I have contacted the Legal Ombudsman to raise my deep concern at this cynical and unlawful behaviour, which seems to be quite widespread (Citizen's Advice Bureau raised Boots doing the same thing). I wonder what my son may have done if he had opened that letter alone and we remained none the wiser? Another real concern is that this practice is very likely being dealt out to vulnerable children. It's truly shocking. The threads say to ignore any letters/communication from DWF, which I am happy to do. However, while acknowledging my son's behaviour was completely unacceptable, I want to challenge Sainsbury's as I am horrified that all this can happen without the knowledge or communication with parents. Has anyone else had a similar experience? Aren't they legally obliged to contact parents? DWF letter.pdf
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