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This is my first time posting. A few days ago I was detained by store security in Primark for allegedly shoplifting. I had bought some socks and, after purchasing them, gone back to look at tights which I picked up and carried to the shoe department. While looking at the shoes, I must have got distracted and the tights ended up in my bag. I honestly do not know how this happened, I have been racking my brains and the only thing I can say in my defence is that I had taken 2 strong painkillers before shopping which can cause me to become quite groggy and drowsy. No excuse for my carelessness however there was no intent to steal. The value of the tights was, I believe, £6.

 

As I left the shop I was detained by the store security and a plain clothes store detective who asked me to follow them to a back room. They asked if I knew why I had been detained, I honestly said I did not. The plain clothes security guard became quite irate and threatened to phone the police unless I stopped "beating around the bush" as he put it. He also said that if he had to go and obtain camera evidence and till records he would certainly call the police. As I didn't want the police involved, I thought the best course of action would be to try and co-operate as far as I could. I identified the socks that I had bought, and the tights that I had not and they proceeded to ask me for my details.

 

Now, having read up relentlessly on this subject over the last few days, I believe I handled this part of my story atrociously. I felt under significant pressure and intimidated by the 3 members of staff who were in the room (a female member of store staff in addition to the 2 I have mentioned) and I am worried that I have made matters worse for myself. I started by giving them my old address which I lived in a year ago as I was so flustered. When they asked for ID, I realised my error and gave them my correct address backed up by my driver's license. I was accused of trying to give a false address however I did live at this address a year ago. They demanded my NI number which I did not know - they were quite insistant about this and must have assumed I was lying about that but I genuinely do not know it off the top of my head. They also asked for my email address and made me prove via my phone that this was correct. They also asked for my mobile number. I believe a copy was made of my driver's license as the plain clothes security guard left the room with it.

 

The unifomed security guard asked if I had any other shopping on me, which I did (from Boots), and asked if he could search it as I was a suspected shoplifter. I gave him the bag, in which every item was backed up by a receipt, and no further comment was made about these purchases. Then he asked to search my handbag which he duly did and found nothing.

 

I was then told that I was barred from all Primark stores (no time specified). I was given a Notice of Intended Civil Recovery but did not sign anything to this effect, neither did I sign any banning notice.

 

Am I right in saying that I could have refused their requests to search me and refused to give any details? Or would that have entailed a police visit? I have no doubts that the police would have done no more than issued a FNP / caution at most however I did not want to risk this showing up on any enhanced CRB disclosures in the future.

 

I am waiting for the RLP letter wih the fine and I do intend to pay it. Regardless of the fact that I did not intend to steal, I did leave the shop with items that I had not paid for. I also accept that there are associated security costs - I understand that these can be excessive however I am willing to pay to try and put an end to this nightmare. I can't eat or sleep and spend all my free time looking up cases on the internet and scaring myself silly.

 

I have lots of questions that I can't see answers for in other threads, please accept my apologies if they have already been answered:

 

1. Can the police now be called and can I be cautioned / prosecuted? If they can be called how likely would they be to pursue this matter over goods to the value of £6? When would I hear about this if Primark have decided to contact the police?

 

2. Was my interview by security guards recorded? If it was, surely I should have been told that it was at the beginning of my interview?

 

3. By paying the RLP fine, am I admitting guilt? And if the police subsequently get involved will this influence any prosecution decision?

 

4. How can my name be entered onto a "dishonest database" if the police are not involved and I have not been convicted? Again, does my paying of the fine influence this at all? I have read that you are put on the database regardless of whether you pay or not but I don't know if this is true.

 

5. When can I expect the letter from RLP to arrive? I have seen threads where the posters have not recieved anything for months and I'm not sure I can take any more sleepless nights and worry. I feel sick to my stomach all the time and have been having very dark thoughts.

 

6. Why the insistance on the NI number? What can they use this for?

 

I know that the advice is to ignore the letters but I'm just not strong enough to. I am beside myself already, I couldn't cope with threatening letters / the thought of court action as unlikely as that seems to be.

 

I suppose I am most concerned about subsequent police involvement because of giving an incorrect address. I did explain that I used to live there and know the person that lives there now so I could pick up mail but I am sure they think I was trying to get away with it -I honestly wasn't - and they do have my current address backed up by photo ID.

 

Please help me, I don't know where else to turn. Thanks in advance.

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Hi worried

 

Welcome to CAG

 

The guys will be happy to advise as soon as they are available.

 

I have lots of questions that I can't see answers for in other threads, please accept my apologies if they have already been answered:

 

1. Can the police now be called and can I be cautioned / prosecuted? If they can be called how likely would they be to pursue this matter over goods to the value of £6? When would I hear about this if Primark have decided to contact the police?

 

They could call the police, but are very unlikely too, because of the value. Also they recovered the product.

 

2. Was my interview by security guards recorded? If it was, surely I should have been told that it was at the beginning of my interview?

 

Very unlikely, as you say they should have told you.

3. By paying the RLPlink3.gif fine, am I admitting guilt? And if the police subsequently get involved will this influence any prosecution decision?

 

It is not a 'fine', it is a 'invoice', something you could send anybody. Read the CAB report on RLP. They will not prosecute you over £6, very unlikely.

 

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

4. How can my name be entered onto a "dishonest database" if the police are not involved and I have not been convicted? Again, does my paying of the fine influence this at all? I have read that you are put on the database regardless of whether you pay or not but I don't know if this is true.

 

It's probable a local thing, nothing to do with the police.

 

5. When can I expect the letter from RLP to arrive? I have seen threads where the posters have not recieved anything for months and I'm not sure I can take any more sleepless nights and worry. I feel sick to my stomach all the time and have been having very dark thoughts.

 

Just get on with life, deal with the matter if and when you receive it.

 

6. Why the insistance on the NI number? What can they use this for?

 

They really shouldn't be asking for that sort of stuff, I suppose for ID reasons.

 

I know that the advice is to ignore the letters but I'm just not strong enough to. I am beside myself already, I couldn't cope with threatening letters / the thought of court action as unlikely as that seems to be.

 

You are strong enough, if and when you get itask for further advice.

 

I suppose I am most concerned about subsequent police involvement because of giving an incorrect address. I did explain that I used to live there and know the person that lives there now so I could pick up mail but I am sure they think I was trying to get away with it -I honestly wasn't - and they do have my current address backed up by photo ID.

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Thank you for taking the time to respond Rebel11.

 

Can I ask - if they did decide to call the police (I know you think that is unlikely) when would I be likely to hear about this? I am going to make myself ill worrying about this and if there was a time limit (did I read somewhere that someone's RLP letter said that RLP had 45 days to decide whether to pursue with the police?) on when Primark could contact the police and this time passed, then perhaps I could start getting on with my life. I am on the verge of tears all the time - honestly, I have never been this worried about anything in my life. I keep re-playing the interview over and over in my head wishing I had handled it better. I wish I hadn't gone out shopping at all that day and I have no desire to go back to Primark ever again after my experience.

 

Also, I have heard so many conflicting reports about the database - I believe it is Cireco Ltd, however I'm not sure if only retailers are likely to access it or whether other industries might? I wonder if anyone knows anything more about this. Would this affect things like any potential future insurance claims, etc?

 

Thanks again, and believe me, I am not strong - I am a nervous wreck.

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What ever they decide to do with your going to have to deal with it. As I said it is very unlikely the police will be involved. They have got a lot to deal with at the moment. I'm not sure who has access to the database, I'm sure one of guys will be along to give you an answer on that.

 

Worrying isn't going to help, if you do receive the invoice, you need them to provide you with a 'breakdown' of their costs, see if they respond to that. But deal with it if it arrives.

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Worrying isn't going to help, if you do receive the invoice, you need them to provide you with a 'breakdown' of their costs, see if they respond to that. But deal with it if it arrives.

 

:spy:

 

Where was that other thread, where a member with personal experience of this tells the story of a demand for a breakdown of costs?

 

I shall post a link if I find the time to look. They came back with an enormously increased, itemised invoice.

 

The important point to note is that it is not the retail loss preventer who would have to provide the breakdown ; it is the cost to the client that they charge for so the main effect would be to annoy Primark but what the hell, if you fancy the chance to poke about in the hornet's nest, that is fine by me.

 

These are not fly by night cowboys. These are hardened professionals, advised by a QC.

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It has been nearly a week since the alleged incident and I have heard nothing. Please, does anyone know when the letter from rlp will arrive? I have read on some threads of letters arriving months (in one case 11 months) after the event and I can't live like this much longer. I have lost half a stone in a week and I can't sleep. I nearly crashed my car during the week as I am so exhausted. I wonder if I should leave it another week and then phone them?

 

Please help me, I am going out of my mind.

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Hi worried

 

If you are that concerned, visit CAB on monday. As you've researched you could receive an 'invoice' with no breakdown which they will ask you to pay, even CAB say the invoices are suspect. Don't ring them, only correspond in writing.

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2 weeks on and still no word from RLP. Please can any readers give me an indication of how long their letter / invoice took to arrive?

 

Additionally, if Primark did decide to contact the police, is it likely I would have heard by now?

 

I know the advice is to ignore the letters however due to the adverse impact this is having on my day to day life I do intend to pay. I feel like this is the only way I'll be able to move on. I may be in the minority but the sooner this letter arrives the better.

 

I am still concerned that they have sent it to my old address and I have texted the tenant that moved in after me but have had no response as yet. They have my current address, email and mobile number, has anyone been contacted in any other way apart from a letter?

 

Any thoughts on your experiences would be hugely appreciated. Thank you.

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To both of the posts above, there is no hard and fast rule. Whilst many people have received a letter within days, some have reported a few weeks delay and others have never heard anything at all. I guess that RLP make some sort of assessment as to circumstances and the likely chance of getting a payout so some cases take priority (I know - before it is pointed out, in most cases there seems to be no sense of anybody applying discretion when sending letters out!).

 

What is a fact however is that if the store concerned did not call in the Police at the time, then they will not do so later. Once any chain of evidence has been broken, then it would be impossible to prosecute so you can rest easy on that score.

Any advice given is done so on the assumption that recipients will also take professional advice where appropriate.

 

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to the hi-jacker on this thread - its not yours - -start your own thread

 

to the op

 

i would not worry about this at all, rlp's have no legal powers to demand any money from you.

 

 

your story is rather disturbing, those guards had no right to search your other bags nor copy paperwork

 

sadly all just the process of trying intimidate you

 

they are not the police, they have no lagal powers

 

if it were me, i'd write a letter of complaint about their actions to the ceo of the store

 

dx

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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