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DWF on behalf of Sainsburys demanding security costs for shoplifting


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My friend and I are 17 years old students with no income of our own. We have been sent demands from DWF solicitors for £150 security cost each for shoplifting at Sainsburys. We were told to respond within 7 days to avoid further action. We were really threatened by the letter and I looked up information on CAB website which says we could make an offer, of less than the asked amount, for full and final payment as long as we didn’t accept liability. So I asked DWP if we could do this and they said no we needed to pay it all.

 

I have since seen this forum and wish I’d seen it earlier. Neither of us have admitted liability directly but I am wondering if our communication with DWP asking about making payments means we can’t now say:

 

" Any liability to you or any company you claim to represent is denied."

 

" I also refuse you permission to contact any other third party."

 

We thought the £150 was a fine and we had to pay it. Can you advise me on what we should do next please.

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Hi and welcome to CAG.

 

Unfortunately since CAB released their 'Uncivil Demands' report they are treating civil claims with caution and they do state that an offer of payment is better than not. Totally wrong in my view.

 

Irrespective of what you did, that is now over. I just hope this is lesson learned.

 

Now, DWF do not come on my radar very often so I would deal with them the same way I would deal with Retail Loss Prevention. Ignore!

 

If you live at home is my next issue as I don't know if DWF will write to parents (RLP do). If you do live at home and you haven't informed your parents, it would be better to 'fess up' and show them to these boards so they know what is what.

 

DWF can make as many demands as they like. They are acting for Sainsburys and as such Sainsburys are the only people that can take court action but I suspect they don't bother as they would get back far less than it cost them in the first place and then they would also have to justify this demand as they don't bother breaking it down. In the case of civil loss, they can only claim actual loss, not security costs as they are already paid for irrespective of whether they apprehend a shoplifter or not.

 

So, don't bother contacting them unless you want them not to write to parents.

If you are asked to deal with any matter via private message, PLEASE report it.

Everything I say is opinion only. If you are unsure on any comment made, you should see a qualified solicitor

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Hi and welcome to CAG.

 

So, don't bother contacting them unless you want them not to write to parents.

 

Thanks for info. My friend would rather her parent didn't find out. Mine are ok.

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Thanks for info. My friend would rather her parent didn't find out. Mine are ok.

 

The Data Protection Act is not very clear on this matter. How would DWF know what the home situation is like. Is it violent? Would a letter to the parents cause a family breakdown? They don't know and IF they chose to write to parents they should then accept all the ramifications that could bring.

 

With that in mind, I suggest he write the letter you mentioned above. Doesn't matter what was said on the phone as this could have been made under duress.

 

At the top of this forum is a sticky that I made regarding RLP. DWF are the same so treat them as such.

If you are asked to deal with any matter via private message, PLEASE report it.

Everything I say is opinion only. If you are unsure on any comment made, you should see a qualified solicitor

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Thanks for that BB. I have seen this previously but a reminder can do no harm.

 

I think it will need to co operation of the recipients of these letters to show what process they use and whether it is similar to RLPs business model.

 

They are claiming £150 for security costs, nothing else. As the cost of store security is already factored into the shop prices which everyone pays, I cannot see how DWF can make this claim.

 

Most supermarkets subcontract their security out to an external provider at a price agreed between them. The stores then add this cost to the shop prices.

 

Security guards are employed to deter and detect shoplifting, walk the shop floor, monitor CCTV and deal with offenders as part of the job they are paid for. This they do whether or not they apprehend anyone. The Oxford case, while persuasive (not a precedent) showed that these costs cannot be recovered from shoplifters.

 

IF a member of staff not normally associated with security assists in the apprehension of a shoplifter and they didn't do their normal work then that cost can be claimed (with admin costs) but no more than the hourly rate that employee earned. Betterment comes to mind.

 

IF the store manager got involved then a look at his/her employment contract would be useful to see whether as part of their job was to deal with security issues and if so, they couldn't be claimed either.

 

A fixed charge of £150 is not lawful but not many people know this. Any threats of police action (IMO) is tantamount to blackmail.

If you are asked to deal with any matter via private message, PLEASE report it.

Everything I say is opinion only. If you are unsure on any comment made, you should see a qualified solicitor

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A fixed charge of £150 is not lawful but not many people know this. Any threats of police action (IMO) is tantamount to blackmail.

 

I couldn't agree more, the charge is nowhere near lawful as you say, and I'd pee my pants if they tried to intimidate me by threatening me with the police.

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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Kevin Feehan says "An interesting fact

 

Outside of the office I enjoy reading, listening to music and spending time with my family."

 

How is that interesting ?..Ha

 

Maybe that's where he gets his inspiration from to write those puerile missives, begging for unlawful fees?

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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Well, the good news is they turned down your offer so now they are entitled to nothing, zero, zip, nada. they cant now say that you haveagreed to pay £z as they refused this offer so no contractual obligation.

You owe nothing for security staff costs, do you think that these people are only employed the second they nab someone, like a bounty hunter? No, they draw a rather meagre salary whether they catch anyone or not, the rest of their job is in their job description and this will be covered as well so all in a day's work at no extra cost.

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