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Hello all,

 

My daughter was set up by a "friend" who used my daughter's bag to try and take goods from a Primark. My daughter was apprehend outside the store and then taken upstairs - the "friend" had disappeared by that stage. The police were never involved and the store did not pursue the matter any further other than barring her from entering another Primark. The girl who set her up is apparently know for doing this and, whilst my daughter is no saint, she wouldn't shoplift. She was totally up front with us and told us what had happened as she had nothing to hide.

 

I did some reading around and told my daughter to expect a letter from RLP which she did today. It is cloaked in the sort of legalise that DCAs (of whom I have experience of kicking in to touch thanks to CAG!) and really worried her.

 

The letter is headed "Without Prejudice Save as to Costs"

 

We act on behalf of Primark. We are instructed that on 21st November 2011 at our client's premises you committed a wrongful act causing loss to our client.

 

They then go on to say that the staff were diverted from their normal activities etc. etc. for which they are entitled to compensation for. They claim that the costs are considerable but they are willing to accept a fixed amount of £87.50

 

I can post the whole of the text if needs be.

 

I have a couple of problems with this. As the Police were not involved and the store did not pursue the matter, can they accuse her of committing a wrongful act? Can they really claim this money from her given that there is no evidence whatsoever that any offence was committed? As she is only 16 years old, what is her standing in law? I would like to handle this one for her (she has now realised that they are nothing to really worry about since I showed her some of the highly witty letters that Moorcroft and Roxburgh have sent to me in the past!) Can she write to them and grant me permission to act on her behalf?

 

Any advice on this would be gratefully received. I am also considering pursuing Primark over potential breaches of rules regarding safeguarding. Whilst she was accompanied in the lift upstairs by a female member of staff, she was left alone with two male security guards and was then interviewed by them and felt highly intimidated by them. She was then escorted off the premises by a male security guard with no female member of staff being present when she was taken down in the lift. This has bothered us more than the letter from RLP.

 

Thanks

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Very common scenario (youll note CAG has its own RLP section now !).

 

Haved a read through here > http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?324603-Rlp-please-help(1-Viewing)-nbsp

 

Im unaware of any 'rules' Primark are obliged to follow reagrding 'safegaurding', are there such things ?. If not I wouldnt write to them, but it maybe very useful to use in a defence, although as we all know, it is very unlikely to get as far as court.

 

I believe that she can give you authority to act on her behalf much is the same way as RLP are acting for Primark and in the same way as Solicitors act for individuals.

 

Andy

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My daughter was apprehend outside the store and then taken upstairs

 

Unless this was entirely voluntary, then it was a citizens arrest under s. 24A of PACE 1984.

 

As an offence was committed (by somebody), they potentially had a power of arrest if they had reasonable grounds to believe your daughter was guilty of it, which they probably had.

 

There is then an additional requirment that the arrest must be 'necessary' for one of the specified purposes.

 

However, since they then released her without involving the police, this logically must mean that either:-

 

1) they no longer belived she was guilty, or

2) the additional requirement that the arrest be 'necessary' in (3)(b) was not met.

 

If 1) then clearly they do not really belive she committed any 'wrongful act'. If 2) the arrest was unlawful.

 

(In any event the demand for money is nonsense because the wrongful act (if any) is not the cause of the expenses they claim for.)

Post by me are intended as a discussion of the issues involved, as these are of general interest to me and others on the forum. Although it is hoped such discussion will be of use to readers, before exposing yourself to risk of loss you should not rely on any principles discussed without confirming the situation with a qualified person.

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Thanks for that. She has sent a letter telling them to deal with me and I am going to fire a letter off at them this weekend. Let's see what that does!

 

Make sure you read the two CAB reports, they can be found by googling and also read RLP's reply where they do raise some good points saying that CAB is wrong but of interest is the bit realting to court action where its clear that they have only won by deafulat, defendants not turning up and settling NOT by winning a case.

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In your letter of xxxx you accuse my daughter of "wrongdoing" and demand the sum of £87.50.

 

I am aware of the incident that you refer to and can confirm that my daughter was not involved with any "wrongdoing".

 

Please advise whether it is your organisation that is making these accusations or Primark.

 

I would advise against repeating these slanderous allegations.

 

I would advise you that as my daughter is only 16, she should have been treated as a vulnerable person, advised that you did not have the powers to search, that she need not accompany the security staff to any particular part of the shop and should not have been left at any time with all males, including in the lift with a single male and no female.

 

In the circumstances I am prepared to accept the payment of £8750 from you and Primark not to take this any further.

 

I expect your reply and remittance by 12th January 2012

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In your letter of xxxx you accuse my daughter of "wrongdoing" and demand the sum of £87.50.

 

I am aware of the incident that you refer to and can confirm that my daughter was not involved with any "wrongdoing".

 

Please advise whether it is your organisation that is making these accusations or Primark.

 

I would advise against repeating these slanderous allegations.

 

I would advise you that as my daughter is only 16, she should have been treated as a vulnerable person, advised that you did not have the powers to search, that she need not accompany the security staff to any particular part of the shop and should not have been left at any time with all males, including in the lift with a single male and no female.

 

In the circumstances I am prepared to accept the payment of £8750 from you and Primark not to take this any further.

 

I expect your reply and remittance by 12th January 2012

 

Nice letter but I serioulsy doubt whether Primrak are going to cough up nearly nine grand..and I'm perosnally of the opinion that you should write letters withe legal threats unless you are going to follow up with action.

 

Andy

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No threats, just putting the record straight and a request for a contribution. (Can't imagine where I got that idea from). The 9 grand was 100 what they were asking for, but anything would be ok.

 

I mentioned the contents of their letter because it has the "without prejudice" at the top, meaning it wouldn't have been possible to use it in court (not that there is any possibility of that).

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Send me some stamps if your going to be wasting them, I could do with some to send christmas cards.

Ash.

 

If you think I have helped you, please add to my reputation by clicking the star button to the left.

Thankyou.

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The "friend" should be banned to contact your daugter again (for the safe side)

when a shoplifting was taken place they should have a female staff (present) with her so she can talk to her on her behalf.

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