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B&Q Security dragged me out of ny van over bogus theft assumption


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Hi.

The other day i went into b and q to look at some specialist drill bits.

i spent about 4-5 mins looking through different ones but left the store as they did not have one suitable for the job i was doing.

 

i got into my van outside the exit door and reversed slightly before proceeding to drive forward.

At this point, whilst i was still driving forward a man ran upto my van, wrenched the drivers door open and lunged inside my van trying to pull me out.

he didnt identify himself but just kept shouting " youve got something on you, get out of your van"

 

I was totally shocked at this and refused to get from my van due to his enraged temper and told him i would only speak to the police and advised him to call them.

he continued to try and drag me from the van and called on his radio for "as many people as possible to attend" and also for someone to ring the police.

 

whilst he was waiting for backup he kicked me hard in the side of my foot nearest the door which became painful immediately.

having later attended a+e i have been told it is possibly fractured but need to attend fracture clinic next week to get a certain decision.

 

three more members of staff arrived and at this point all four began to drag me from the van, ripping my clothes.

they gripped both my arms and one had two arms around my waist and marched me back into the store to the security office.

 

i was pinned against the wall in the office whilst they waited for the police.

the guard produced 5 drill bits which were ones left on the shelf by myself earlier but at no time searched me.

when the police arrived, he said the bits he had produced were found on me, which they most definitely were not. and i was arrested.

 

in his statement to the police he says he clearly saw me put something in my left pocket,

however when i saw the cctv during interview there is nothing remotley like this visible,

it just shows me walking in, looking at the bits, then leaving.

 

the cctv of the incident on the car park has been produced to the police but the coverage of the security office, where there was a camera as not submitted.

i have requested a copy as this will prove i was not searched.

 

has this been a lawful detention???

has unreasonable force been used??

did he have the right to act as he did???

thanks

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1. No, imho.

2. Absolutely. There is no reason whatsoever to do what you have described. There are many other things he could have done before hand.

3. Absolutely not.

 

Given that you are innocent of the accusations, I would put a ofrmal complaint in to the police, head office and also consider civil action.

 

Someone elsewill be be along with the necessary legal bits.

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Think you need to see a good solicitor asap in the mng if you haven't done so already.I would be looking at pressing charges for assault; unlawful detention or arrest by the shop staff (they would have had to make a citizens arrest to detain you) & an official complaint against the police although it sounds as though they were lead into it by the shop staff lying (which is an offence in itself).If they said they found the items on you then they are admitting an unlawful search anyway as only a police officer is allowed to search you.Bet they find "technical problems" with the camera in the security office.

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I agree with Chancellor You should complain to police that you have been assaulted.

 

The fact that you had/have verifiable injuries AND damaged clothing should be enough for them to investigate & possibly arrest your assailant/s.

 

Also as has been mentioned their 'alleged' search was most certainly illegal & any such 'evidence' would be inadmissible so even if you did nick them (& I'm not saying you did) then their illegally found evidence would mean you would probably get off

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i have appointed a solicitor who was present at the interview and she is also looking into the facts. The guard has said in his statement that he searched me which he didnt and i am aware he has no power to so would not have given him permission to do so anyway. the police were only acting on what they had been told by the guard so are duty bound to investigate.

just not sure what affect not having the camera evidence from the office will be, the guard has also said i tried to choke him and kicked him in the stomach but i am not sure whether this was supposed to have happened on the carpark or in the office. the camera outside shows no evidence of this just hope the camera inside is produced as this will also show it didnt happen and also that he did not search me.

i have been bailed for 2 weeks time for further enquiries

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thanks for your responses so far, i was just not too sure how far a security guard could go to detain someone and how much force is classed as reasonable force. if i had anything to hide, i would have carried on driving when he opened my door, but as i had nothing to hide i stopped. i think the fact that i would not get from my van until the police arrived due to his aggression, made him feel i had something to hide and made him try even harder to get me from the van, back to the office.

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The guard has no more powers than you or me. He can only make a citizens arrest if he has grounds to believe your committing an offense & he can't use undue force to detain you

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so if he thought he had seen me take items was he within his right to detain me even after i had got into my van?

could he justify the force he used by wrenching open the door and trying to drag me out of the van and kicking me as reasonable as he was wanting to make a citizens arest and i refused to get out of my van?

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so if he thought he had seen me take items was he within his right to detain me even after i had got into my van?

could he justify the force he used by wrenching open the door and trying to drag me out of the van and kicking me as reasonable as he was wanting to make a citizens arest and i refused to get out of my van?

 

What he should have done was ask you if you'd mind coming back into the store to sort out a possible problem.If you refused then he would have the choice of watching you drive away & noting your details to phone the police or making a citizens arrest & risking the roth from wrongful arrest.No his force wasn't reasonable as you weren't attacking him & you probably didn't even know who he was & what the problem was.If you weren't about to drive away then he could have waited until the police arrived.As regards the security office camera not working then he has to prove your guilt - you dont have to prove your innocence & as stated an illegal search would probably lead to inadmissable evidence anyway.

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so if he thought he had seen me take items was he within his right to detain me even after i had got into my van?

could he justify the force he used by wrenching open the door and trying to drag me out of the van and kicking me as reasonable as he was wanting to make a citizens arest and i refused to get out of my van?

 

 

For the avoidance of doubt NO he didn't have any right to do what he did but as he did hopefully he now risks the possibility of being sacked & acquiring a criminal record which should (we hope) mean he will never be employed in such a capacity again

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Did he tell you at any time that you were under arrest ?.

 

B and q don't have any 'in house ' security staff - they are all contracted in. there is a bad training course, and many many of the guards don't even know the caution, let alone how to justify using reasonable force in an arrest situation.

Try to find out which company supplies this store.

 

 

Was the person a uniformed guard, or a store detective ?

 

Did they identify themselves to you at any point?

 

If they did arrest you, then they are entitled to use reasonable force to detain you - section 3 criminal law act. What is regarded as reasonable depends on lots of factors - are you an 85 year old pensioner in a volvo, or a 25 year old builder, with a van full of lethal tools, and muscles the size of a jumbo jet ??!!. In reality, its up to the magistrates to decide if what the security did was reasonable to prevent you from escaping, or harming others.

 

Resisting isn't a good idea - even if you haven't done anything wrong. Just look smug when you tell the store manager you are going to sue the pants off the company - I know I would !. There is case law regarding resisting - lots of interesting stuff.

 

Were you bailed pending further enquiries, charged, or nfa'd ?

 

and make a data protection request to them for the footage - they use a system called a digital sprite, which only holds footage for 31 days usually, so get it in quick.

 

As you may see from my posts, I also work in the security industry as a trainer. I'm still amazed at the number of companies that scrimp on training for staff - and simply take a chance that things like this won't happen.

 

Any advice needed, I'm happy to help !

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Did he tell you at any time that you were under arrest ?.

 

Errr, security staff do not have any powers of arrest whatsoever

 

Was the person a uniformed guard, or a store detective ?

 

they can be dressed like a Swiss admiral, it makes no difference.

 

Did they identify themselves to you at any point?

 

If they did arrest you, then they are entitled to use reasonable force to detain you - section 3 criminal law act. What is regarded as reasonable depends on lots of factors - are you an 85 year old pensioner in a volvo, or a 25 year old builder, with a van full of lethal tools, and muscles the size of a jumbo jet ??!!. In reality, its up to the magistrates to decide if what the security did was reasonable to prevent you from escaping, or harming others.

 

Given that they have no powers of arrest then this would make no difference. And what does identifying do? If they have no powers, it makes no difference. Oh, and if that 85 yr old happened to be a black belt in karate and a psychopath, I would suggest more force than "normal" would be needed.

 

Resisting isn't a good idea - even if you haven't done anything wrong. Just look smug when you tell the store manager you are going to sue the pants off the company - I know I would !. There is case law regarding resisting - lots of interesting stuff.

 

I would resist - it is an entitlement not to be restrained unlawfully.

 

Were you bailed pending further enquiries, charged, or nfa'd ?

 

and make a data protection request to them for the footage - they use a system called a digital sprite, which only holds footage for 31 days usually, so get it in quick.

 

Why should he? It is for the accuser to prove the case - not for the person to prove he is innocent.

 

 

As you may see from my posts, I also work in the security industry as a trainer. I'm still amazed at the number of companies that scrimp on training for staff - and simply take a chance that things like this won't happen.

 

In that case, I would get another job.

 

 

Any advice needed, I'm happy to help !

 

Please someone do correct me if I am wrong on any of those accounts.

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emsgeorge and gyzmo thanks for your recent posts, however as you are both pulling in different directions, i now have a headache!!!!

 

just to answer a few questions, the guard who has said to the police in his statement that he was in full uniform was infact wearing a black jacket fully zipped up to the top, black trousers and black shoes. He had no badges or id on show, could have been wearing a shirt/tie underneath but could not be seen.

 

he did not identify himself, he ran upto my van, wrenched the door open whilst i was still moving forward without any warning and shouted "youve got something on you, get out of your van" and grabbed me trying to pull me out. as i was innocent i said get the police and i'll speak to them. this was not good enough for him, he wanted me back inside the building although i had removed my keys from the ignition to stop him thinking i might drive off. he called for back up from other staff and continued to try and drag me out and then kicked me in the foot hard. his back up turned up and four of them dragged me out of the van into the store.

 

he has told police in his statement he had searched me and found some items on me but these were items he had picked from the shelf that i had been looking at before i left and did not have in my possesion. he did not search me at any time or ask to search me. the camera recording from the security office has not yet been submitted which would show he did not search me.

 

burning question is does a security oficer who suspects someone of comitting theft have the right to search that person once detained. members on here have said no, my solictior says yes - HELP!

 

i have been bailed for two weeks for further enqs icon8.gif

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A security guard has no more powers of arrest than you or I do.

A security guard, not even the police, have the power or right to treat you in the way you have described.

 

The burden of proof rests with the person who makes the accusation. I would search these forums for incidents involving securiy guards and opefully you should get a clearer idea.

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cheers gyzmo

 

nyone any info on a security guards right to search someone they suspect to have committed theft?

 

my solicitior says he as the right, info and other members on here says he hasnt the right. anyone know any links where i can read up on it???

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The security guard like any other citizen has the power to arrest another BUT only if the believe a crime has ALREADY been committed & I'm sorry but your solicitor is wrong. The guard has absolutely no powers whatsoever to search you without your express consent

 

Even the police if they, who do have the power, do a stop & search they have to complete a form explaining why they conducted the search & giving the subject a copy

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On a side note, As the security are not members of staff @ B & Q as was stated earlier, i would request the SIA License number of the guards involved and if/when you are informed they are not licensed you should report B & Q to the SIA as well as whatever company they claim to work for. It is a legal require to have your SIA License visable at all times. (Unless you are plain clothed/under cover but even then you have to have it on you at all times.)

Only certain in-house security no not require license's. These are not in house security as they do not work for B & Q so would certainly require a license.

I work in security and we are asked to carry out random searches, before we can carry out any form of search we need a signed constent form from person being searched and a colleague to be present.The person being searched also has the rite to have someone of their choice from HR to be present too. Even then if they change their mind we need to stop immedialety and call for police assistance.

We do have the power to carry out a search BUT only with the written consent of the person being searched.

It is also a in the employment contract that staff may be searched etc. This is of course slighty different to the OP case though.

Edited by majik

If any of my posts are helpful, please feel free to click my scales. All information is given as my opinion only, based on my own personal Experiences/Mistakes lol...

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majik

 

you say you carry out random searches with the persons permission but are these on the spot checks and not necessarily people suspected of theft because the guard believes to have seen an item be concealed upon that person. does this still apply if the person has been detained/ had a citizens arrest carried out.

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A civilian, & that includes a security guard, cannot lawfully search anyone unless the subject agrees.

 

Any unwilling search must be carried out by a police officer and only if he suspects an offence has been committed OR the area has been 'designated' by a senior police officer above the rank of inspector & I very much doubt the latter applies to the CP of B&Q

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  • dx100uk changed the title to B&Q Security dragged me out of ny van over bogus theft assumption
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