No pro­tec­tion for small busi­nesses

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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

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