Shopkeeper disappointed with police response to theft

The Argus newspaper has reported that Sussex Police have declined to pursue a shoplifter captured on a shop’s CCTV system in the act of stealing because the crime is not serious enough.

The thief allegedly stole a box of film prints from the counter of Zoingimage in Sydney Street by concealing them under her scarf before leaving the store.

The owner Serge Rolland reported it to Sussex Police and sent them a still image of the woman in question and her bank details gathered from an earlier purchase she had made.

But the police told him: “For every crime that is reported to Sussex Police we apply an investigation framework to the circumstances which assesses a number of factors and dictates if a criminal investigation is proportionate under those circumstances.

In this instance the police said that. “The threat, harm and risk levels are considered to be low and therefore it would not be deemed proportionate to conduct bank enquiries for such a low valued offence with no aggravating factors.”

BCRP Comment

Although the value of the goods stolen was only £10.95 the police response seems to be at odds with their new policing model unveiled in November [see earlier story] especially the work of the ‘Prevention Team’ which seeks to be in the right place at the right time to prevent crimes from happening and specifically addresses repeat issues. The alleged thief may well strike again and no end of future crimes could perhaps be prevented by pursuing this one now.