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Guest wino

Stopped and searched in front of customers

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Guest wino

My son who is in his early 20's and a friend same age went into a new shop today that has recently opened in the local town centre. They were dressed casual not chavvy:p. As the shop was new they went to have a look around to see what it sold.

 

On entering the shop three security men followed them up and down the aisles. When they got to the alcohol aisle another security man approached them from the front and asked what they had in their bags. My son said it was clothes he had bought from another shop. The other 3 security stood around them and they had their bags taken off them and the goods taken out in front of other customers. My son said "we havn't taken anything you can ask these three they have been following us all round the shop". My son and his friend where then basically frisked again on the shop floor in front of customers. :shock:

 

The security then appologised and said they could go. My son asked why they had been searched and was told the company had told them to stop and search anyone to make sure nobody steals anything.

 

Surely this is not allowed.

 

1. They had been targated as soon as they entered the shop.

 

2. Followed so the security would of noticed if they had taken anything.

 

3. Stopped in the shop before even reaching the tills.

 

4. Seached in full view of customers.

 

When my son told me I just said "well don't go to that shop again. I cetainly won't be giving them any of my money if they think everyones a thief."

 

Now thinking about it I'm angry. I can feel a strongly worded letter coming on.:p

 

Any tips of what it should include before I just start rambling angrily?

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Why don't you suggest to your son he gets a couple of mates and makes up some placards with someing like you will be branded a thief just for entering this shop and stand around outside for a while.

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Reminds me of a recent trip to supermarket. Followed as soon as went in and around the clothes section. Bought kiddies about 100.00 stuff in sale and all bagged up, receipt and tied top of the bags. I am a bit paranoid and was aware to make sure they were aware I had paid as I planned to do weekly shop downstairs.

 

Went around spent another load of money and same man approached me at the till and asked me would I like to pay for the clothes he saw me take. I said no thankyou I am only in the habit of paying for things once and he followed me to the door.

 

The alarms went off and they opened all the bags, checked the receipts which tallied and found no alarm tags on anything. I asked why the alarms had then gone off and he said a probably fault. Rubbish I think they pressed them to go off on purpose.

 

Maybe they just target some people to be seen doing their job.

 

So after half and hour searching bags and spending near 200.00 in the store I was apologised to.

 

Makes we realise why I am so paranoid. Wish they would catch the real theives and leave us alone.

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I didn't think you could be accused of theft until the crime had been committed or evidence to show that beyond reasonable doubt the crime was going to be committed? I might be wrong but this was always what I have been told when working in retail.

 

Also since when did normal citizens (even SIA approved ones) have rights to stop and search?


Ex-Retail Manager who is happy to offer helpful advise in many consumer problems based on my retail experience. Any advise I do offer is my opinion and how I understand the law.

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I think the average customer becomes panicked in such situations as if we have to prove we have done nothing. We or I wouldnt know my rights. I think the placard idea is a good one and make sure it goes on you tube.

 

I just thing the geek who dealt with me saw what he wanted to see, nothing turned into him saying he saw me take the clothes. He forgot to mention he also watched me in the clothes que pay for them and tie the bags.

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Also since when did normal citizens (even SIA approved ones) have rights to stop and search?

 

I also thought that too, if someone was suspected of shoplifting then the police should be called to search, I would be interested to know if this is correct.

 

Sometimes I think security guards do target the young, quite unfairly. I'm not surprised you're angry Wino, I would be too, they must have felt quite intimidated.

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They have no right to perform any search. They can ask to see what is in a bag and request the bag be emptied, this should be done in a private room. the only person who can search someone else without their authority is a police officer.


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All this reminds me of an injustice that happened when I was a nipper, me and a pal popped into Safeway at about this time of year, must be 30 years ago now, there was a Santa by the door and as we went in he handed us some sweets, when we eventually left the store, a guy (prob staff memeber as security gaurds wernt common in those days) pounced on us and accused us of stealing the few wrapped sweets we had been given (by bleedin' Santa no less !), I cant recall excatly what happened but its still stuck in my mind to this day.

 

Andy

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A few months ago hubby and I bought a few things in Tesco, barely filled one bag. We went through the checkout and I then gave the bag to him to go to the car and I went to the toilets. When I came out he had been stopped by security. All I could hear was my husband saying 'are you effecting a citizen's arrest?' and by the time I reached them I heard the guard say 'we are entitled to check the bags of anyone who has been in the store'. I said 'are you, since when are you allowed to rifle through other people's belongings just for the fun of it?' I think they gave up at that point because there were now two of us but we went on our way without them looking in the bag.

 

I'm sure most people would just let them look, too shocked at being stopped to do otherwise. My husband said it was a matter of principle though to be honest I think the principle here was that he's in his 60s and he wasn't going to be intimidated by a 'power mad spotty yoof' :)

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Guest wino

Well I am going to go to the shop today as I have now calmed down. I want an explanation of why they felt it necessary to embarass my son this way in front of customers. I am going to request a copy of their company policy on stop and search.

 

Then I might take a short walk down to the local newspaper offices.:)

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The shop security staff 'frisked' your son did they? That is classified as a body search (not bodily search, that's the rubber glove one) and is illegal unless carried out with the persons consent or if it is carried out by a police officer.

 

The fact that they have put their hands on him is technically assault and you can take this furher if you wish with the police.

 

Depending on who the store is, I would contact their head office in writing and demand an explanation and what they suggest to make your son feel less violated. They might offer him and his friends some £50 vouchers each???

 

Bottom line is what the shop staff have done is illegal. The physical searching of bags is not a general thing they can do when they wish. Unless they are sure there are stolen goods belonging to the shop in the bag, they have no justification in searching at all. This is not South Africa!

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My wife was once accused of shop lifting, as she walked away from the till, They took here back to the counter all the time my was saying just ask the girl on the till.

 

My wife broke down crying as it is humiliating in public for this to happen.

 

All was proven to be paid for, She told when she got home, I immediately called the store asked for the manager and explained what had happened.

 

15minutes on the phone and our addres given to him to get back to me.

 

Surprise Surprise, a taxi with a box of goodies to the value of £50 to apologise

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Guest wino

Checked with my son again before going to the shop. Everything in my original post happened exept the frisking bit when I asked him to tell me exactly how they frisked him he said they told him to open his coat, which he did and they then squoze his coat pockets but did not actually touch him.

 

I went to the shop and wouldn't you know it the Manager is off (on a Saturday?) I asked for the head of security and was told this would be the Manager.

 

As Arnie would say "I'll be back"

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Good, wino. You wouldnt think their bosses would want their stores to be seen to be scaring of their possible new customers especially in credit crunch.

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Guest wino
Good, wino. You wouldnt think their bosses would want their stores to be seen to be scaring of their possible new customers especially in credit crunch.

 

The shop only opened last week so why would the manager be off on the first Saturday of opening?

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My son who is in his early 20's and a friend same age went into a new shop today that has recently opened in the local town centre. They were dressed casual not chavvy:p. As the shop was new they went to have a look around to see what it sold.

 

On entering the shop three security men followed them up and down the aisles. When they got to the alcohol aisle another security man approached them from the front and asked what they had in their bags. My son said it was clothes he had bought from another shop. The other 3 security stood around them and they had their bags taken off them and the goods taken out in front of other customers. My son said "we havn't taken anything you can ask these three they have been following us all round the shop". My son and his friend where then basically frisked again on the shop floor in front of customers. :shock:

 

The security then appologised and said they could go. My son asked why they had been searched and was told the company had told them to stop and search anyone to make sure nobody steals anything.

 

Surely this is not allowed.

 

1. They had been targated as soon as they entered the shop.

 

2. Followed so the security would of noticed if they had taken anything.

 

3. Stopped in the shop before even reaching the tills.

 

4. Seached in full view of customers.

 

When my son told me I just said "well don't go to that shop again. I cetainly won't be giving them any of my money if they think everyones a thief."

 

Now thinking about it I'm angry. I can feel a strongly worded letter coming on.:p

 

Any tips of what it should include before I just start rambling angrily?

 

As what happened was not only unlawful but also illegal would your son & his friend be prepared to come forward and make a statement to a lawyer. Also could you name the retailer please

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Guest wino
As what happened was not only unlawful but also illegal would your son & his friend be prepared to come forward and make a statement to a lawyer. Also could you name the retailer please

 

My son doesn't want to do anything about it. He said he does not care about being stopped because he knew he had not done anything and had nothing to hide.He was embarrassed at the time but now just wants to leave it be.

 

I am not going to name the shop just yet (it is not a major supermarket by the way;)) I have wrote to the head office and await a reply.

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I went to a local supermarket at the weekend and purchased a DVD player (electrical goods like this are purchased at a separate counter at the back of the store).

 

When I left, the alarm went off. Since I knew that I had paid in full (and had the receipt, i just kept walking to the car. A security guard came running over and tried to force me to return to the store. I refused to move and also told him that if he didn't remove his hand from my arm I would be reporting the assault. I then got into the car and drove off.

 

Still waiting for the manager to return my call.

 

The box, whether or not the alarm trigger had been removed. was clearly taped with SOLD tape.

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