No protection for small businesses
WE have a small business on the Quayside and had a young shoplifter run out with two bottles of wine worth about £14, with a young girl there to distract the owner.
When reported to police on 101 the operator spent time asking details of the name and address of the premises, ethnic origin, explain the incident etc, but no mention of sending officers out.
The final insult was to note it, and not even give me a crime number that it had been reported.
By the time this was being asked the shoplifter had disappeared completely from the area.
It wasn’t until I mentioned taking the operator’s number and asked for a crime number that her tone changed as I knew about my rights.
By then it was too late and no officers called around at all.
But I got a call the following day asking me to send a copy of the CCTV; to date no action has been taken.
How can a small business
protect themselves? Claiming through insurance increases your premiums; if it is a regular thing then insurance companies will not cover you.
Defending yourself is leading the shopkeeper to be prosecuted unless you can claim self-defence, and arresting criminals via citizen’s arrest is on ambiguous grounds.
So it leads to a question of finances; we are paying for police protection through our council and business rates, as a small business will I have my rates reduced as I am no longer getting that service from the police?
Like any business or contract, I am paying for a service and if not satisfactorily delivered, or not complied with, I should be due a refund.
This is obviously not going to happen in the real world, but I will start a petition for small businesses to seek reductions in our rates if we are not getting the appropriate service.
The comments by Chief Constable Winton Keenen (who told a meeting of the city council that the police will not respond to some shoplifting incidents) shows the lack of foresight and consultation in talking to small businesses first before he made his statement from his ivory tower, away from day to day reality and how shoplifting impacts businesses that are aleady threatened by the economic and trading climate.
His comments leave an open door for shoplifters to take whatever they want. KAMI KUNDI