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jemima1974

Unlawfully inprisonment/ due to shoplifting allegations at a supermarket

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I was recently involved in an incident in a supermarket regarding alleged shoplifting. This was however a genuine mistake as I was using my own reusable bags (some purchased at their premises and some from another store) I put the items in the bags and the trolley. I had a wobbly trolley and a member of staff offered to change my trolley, she even offered to bring another trolley as it was overloaded. I continued shopping and then realised that I did need another trolley and looked for the member of staff that initially offered to help me to see if she could indeed go and get me another trolley. This is a store that requires you to have a £1 coin to use their trolleys. I could not find her and decided to get some change from the cigarettes/lottery counter so that I could get another trolley. I was stopped whilst still inside the store and asked to follow the manager inside an office and I complied. At this point I was not sure why. I am very naïve like that and I did not think for a minute that I was going to be accused of shoplifting. I had a trolley full of alcohol and beverage drinks because I was hosting a party the next day. Police were called and I was not even given the chance to give my statement, I was arrested and handcuffed, taken into a police car outside the store and detained at the police station where I was search and put in a cell for at least 4 hours. I was then granted bail and asked to come back for an interview 7 days later as the Pc in charge was busy taking statements from the supermarket staff and other more serious matters- I was told. I am 6 months pregnant and they could see that I was becoming increasingly tired. I have never been involved with the police before and it was not my intention to leave the store without paying for the goods. I was hoping that the police could verify my side of the story by looking at the evidence: cctv footage of the day. Unfortunately, their cctv was not working and they are unable to prove in any way that I indeed intended to leave their premises with the unpaid shopping. Last Friday, I had the interview with the PC in charge and he told me that they can’t take a decision on whether to charge me or not because they are not qualified to do so, and that this matter needs to be taken care by the CPS and that I have to come back (again granted bail) on December 14th.

It is very unfair that I have to be put through all this. Since then, I have been bullied and humiliated first by the store staff and the police officers that kept me in custody by searching me and keeping me detained without a single proof of evidence. In my opinion I haven’t had left the store at the time where I was stopped and due to the lack of evidence it is their word against mine. I have now been informed that I will also need to pay Civil Recovery charges and a parking fine for leaving my car at their parking for longer than permitted!. The whole incident is just outrageous. It has been badly handled by the police as there is not evidence that can prove that I am thief. I am very stressed about this situation and I can’t sleep or eat. I can’t believe that a shopping trip turned out into this nightmare.

First of all, I want to sue the store for ‘unlawful imprisonment’ as they had no right to stop me before I have actually left the store. In my condition, I have been put through unnecessary stress which contributed to a significant decreased of featal movement.

I have been banned from their stores nationwide and as I mentioned earlier am being harassed by their solicitors with a notice of intented civil recovery to a significant amount. I have no intention of paying this as the policeman that interviewed me asked me to ignore it? Very confusing. I think he thinks am genuine. I am obviously very confused and distressed about this whole thing.

I would like some information on this and what I can do about it, is it worthwile getting a solicitor? is it worthwile bringing them up for defamation of character and unlawful imprisonment? Should I contact local press and/or MP? Anything would be much appreciated as I am at my wits end!!!!! Many Thanks.

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Why would you put goods that you have not paid for into your own shopping bags? Correct me if I am wrong, but I am guessing that you had passed the last point of payment before you were stopped? If this is so, then I am afraid it doesn't look good for you, and the store and the police have not acted unreasonably in the circumstances.

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Hi Jemima,

Welcome to CAG, which I've always believed exists to help, not judge.

Regardless of circumstances, it was clearly inhumane and wrong to detain an obviously pregnant woman for so long and treat her so harshly.

With regard to the Civil Recovery Charges, the usual advice on here is not to pay them as they cannot be enforced.

You need to urgently contact the CAB, who are used to dealing with these situations and will help you.

 

Kind regards,

Elsa x


PLEASE NOTE... I AM MOST SORRY BUT I HAVE VERY LIMITED AVAILABILITY AT THE MOMENT DUE TO EXTREME PRESSURE OF WORK - IF YOU REQUIRE URGENT HELP ON YOUR THREAD AND ARE GETTING NO RESPONSE PLEASE HIT THE TRIANGLE FOR SITE TEAM ASSISTANCE. ELSA XXX

 

Please check out my BLOG for the quick guide to debt threats - it has all the info & letter template links you need to get started on your journey of TAKING CONTROL. :roll:

 

All opinions are my own based on research. I am not legally qualified, if in doubt please consult a legal expert.

Hope this has helped or made you smile. Keep your chin up, you're among friends now! Elsa xxx

Please click the *star* of any CAG member who has helped you .

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Hi Jem

 

As Elsa said we don't judge people. If the supermarket are saying that wasn't recorded, thats rubbish (The reason why I say it's rubbish is, this is something the Store Manager must do according to their Head Office. Imagine if a robbery took place). It could be that it has been taped, but the information isn't being offered. What you need to do is send a legal request for the recording.

 

This is probably a company with turnover of many £1bn's, I don'y buy the 'security camera's weren't recording', especially as they have securtiy staff instore.

 

Here is the template.

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?170623-CCTV-SAR-need-evidence-of-theft-from-M-amp-S&p=1843575&viewfull=1

 

To the Data Controller

Store address

Data Protection Act1998 Subject Access; CCTV Captured images s7.

 

Date

 

Dear Sir/Madam,

 

I wish to make a request under the Data Protection act 1998, to be given a copy of video/fixed photographic stills and images recorded by your store in....................... ......which have images of myself

on the ............(Date) at approximately .........am/pm.

 

This is my right under section 7 of the act,principles 1/6/7.

Please forward me a copy of your request form, which shows your process to obtain this, in compliance of the act.

 

I give you 40 days to comply, and enclose the stat fee of 10.00.

 

I will be requiring a copy of images that include myself, on VHS Video/VCD/DVD format,since this is the only means I have to view it using my own equipment.

 

I understand that a data controller, can refuse to provide a request, in the absence proof of the subject being supplied.

 

To comply with this requirement, I enclose a copy of my driving licence/Passport (delete as app)

and also a copy of a recent utility bill to confirm my address.

 

Yours Faithfully

 

 

XXXXXXX

 

You should make your request to the Store.

But additionally send a copy to M&S registered office.

Send recorded and keep a copy yourself.

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Morning Rebel :-)

Thanks for that.

Jemima - here's the CAB report on RLP, which you should find useful:

 

 

http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/unreasonable_demands_final.pdf

 

Elsa x


PLEASE NOTE... I AM MOST SORRY BUT I HAVE VERY LIMITED AVAILABILITY AT THE MOMENT DUE TO EXTREME PRESSURE OF WORK - IF YOU REQUIRE URGENT HELP ON YOUR THREAD AND ARE GETTING NO RESPONSE PLEASE HIT THE TRIANGLE FOR SITE TEAM ASSISTANCE. ELSA XXX

 

Please check out my BLOG for the quick guide to debt threats - it has all the info & letter template links you need to get started on your journey of TAKING CONTROL. :roll:

 

All opinions are my own based on research. I am not legally qualified, if in doubt please consult a legal expert.

Hope this has helped or made you smile. Keep your chin up, you're among friends now! Elsa xxx

Please click the *star* of any CAG member who has helped you .

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Many thanks to everybody that has given me advice and tried to help. Thanks Elsa, will do. Do you think I should get the services of a solicitor to help me deal with everything? I have two other children plus a business to run.. I am actually an honest smart looking intelligent person. Thanks to everybody that contributed. Fingers crossed with the investigation

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Hi Jemima,

It would help to see a solicitor - many practices do a free half hour initial interview - or do you have a legal advice line on your home insurance? CAB's the way to go first though as it may take time to set up an interview, and they may advise on a suitable solicitor well versed in RLP too.

Let us know how you get on. I'd do as Rebel suggests too and send a subject access request to the store asking for copies of the CCTV footage for that day (even though they claim it was off). Do that asap hopefully before they auto erase it.

 

Elsa x


PLEASE NOTE... I AM MOST SORRY BUT I HAVE VERY LIMITED AVAILABILITY AT THE MOMENT DUE TO EXTREME PRESSURE OF WORK - IF YOU REQUIRE URGENT HELP ON YOUR THREAD AND ARE GETTING NO RESPONSE PLEASE HIT THE TRIANGLE FOR SITE TEAM ASSISTANCE. ELSA XXX

 

Please check out my BLOG for the quick guide to debt threats - it has all the info & letter template links you need to get started on your journey of TAKING CONTROL. :roll:

 

All opinions are my own based on research. I am not legally qualified, if in doubt please consult a legal expert.

Hope this has helped or made you smile. Keep your chin up, you're among friends now! Elsa xxx

Please click the *star* of any CAG member who has helped you .

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From what my days as a security officer learn't me, you can only be accused of shoplifting when you have left the store, it doesn't matter where the the last cashier is. When you was searched, you should have either had a female security officer, or a female member of staff with you when the search was carried out.

Was this the case ???


Please note that although my advice is offered, you should consult your legal representative before taking ANY action.

 

 

have a nice day !!

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