NEWS – “without comment”

Posted by: Ian (D. Withers)

“Has shoplifting has become ‘decriminalised’ thanks to the lack of police action”

Revealed: Have-a-go heroes who foiled ‘brazen Tesco shoplifters’ are ‘crime fighters’ who tackled ‘thieves’ during their lunch break… and claim police took more than half an hour to arrive….
Published: 04 October 2023
By Chris Matthews

The have-a go heroes who foiled a group who allegedly loaded a car with stolen goods are ‘crime fighters’ who tackled the shoplifters while on their lunch break.

A team from TM-Eye, a private investigating force of former police detectives, said they waited more than half an hour for police to arrive after they took down the thieves.

Dramatic footage captured the moment the group was tackled as they ‘tried to make off with electrical goods worth more than £3,000’.

The men were seen throwing items in a shopping trolley into a car in a Tesco car park in Waltham Abbey, Essex.

Police arrived on the scene later and arrested two of the men, aged 17 and 27, on suspicion of theft.  Luckily, a group of have-a-go heroes seemed to intervene.

They have been released on conditional bail and have been banned from the Tesco store.

They had reportedly stolen £4,000 worth of goods from another Tesco in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, hours earlier.

The heroic team’s CEO David McKelvey told MailOnline: ‘They were on a training day. They were halfway through their handcuff training.

‘The biggest issue we have is once the police arrested them they bailed them.

‘We see this day in, day out.

‘We have taken witness statements.

‘If they are not going to prosecute, then we will.’

Detective Chief Inspector Alan Blakesley, of the Local Policing Area, said: ‘We’re acutely aware of the impact theft has on our businesses and we work extremely hard, first and foremost, to respond to incidents when they happen and make arrests and, secondly, to ensure businesses are supported by our dedicated business crime team when they feel they would benefit from that independent advice.

‘In this case, officers from our community policing team arrived quickly to make arrests and we thank all members of the public who reported the incident to us.’

Essex Police said in a statement: ‘Two people were arrested by officers responding to reports of a high-value shoplifting incident at Tesco at Sewardstone Road, in Waltham Abbey.

The raid comes amid a rising epidemic of shoplifting across the UK.

Asda chairman Lord Stuart Rose even went so far as to say that shoplifting has become ‘decriminalised’ thanks to the lack of police action.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said this summer shoplifting had risen 27 per cent across ten of the largest cities in the UK, with some cities up as much as 68 per cent. It estimates that shops lost £953million to customer theft last year – the greatest loss on record in recent years.

And official statistics published by the Office for National Statistics show that shoplifting rose 24 per cent between March 2022 and March 2023.

Waitrose has revealed organised gangs are targeting stores along Tube routes, while Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Aldi are searching shoppers using self-service tills amid a rise in thefts.

Co-op has also resorted to removing chocolates from their boxes and displaying empty packets in a bid to stop shoplifters.

Helen Dickinson, the chief executive of the BRC, which helped in organising the letter to the Home Secretary, said: ‘It is vital that action is taken before the scourge of retail crime gets any worse. We are seeing organised gangs threatening staff with weapons and emptying stores.

‘We are seeing violence against colleagues who are doing their job and asking for age verification. We are seeing a torrent of abuse aimed at hard-working shop staff.

‘It’s simply unacceptable – no one should have to go to work fearing for their safety.

‘We need Government to stand with the millions of retail workers who kept us safe and fed during the pandemic – and support them, as those workers supported us.’

The rise in shoplifting and assaults on staff has forced many large retailers to take drastic action.

Tesco’s managing director Ken Murphy said last month that all the supermarket chain’s frontline workers will be offered body cameras following a surge in violent attacks. He said more than 200 of its staff are victims of serious physical assaults each month.

One shocking video showed a thug lunging at a Tesco worker with a knife after a supermarket worker bravely wrestled stolen goods off him. The attacker, Josh James, was jailed for eight years following a six-month crime spree.