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If anyone in the UK thinks shoplifting is a victimless crime with soft sentences, they should think again. In the past month up and down the country a number of cases have come to court involving theft from shops. The end result of these is that the 'shoplifter' was given a term of imprisonment.
The headline grabbing story of 48 year old mother of two Jayne Rand (who was sentenced to two concurrent 18 month prison sentences by Judge Rhys Rowlands at Newport Crown Court in South Wales) was just one example of many where the persistent nature of the offences and other aggravating circumstances have led to a custodial sentence.
Some may say this is harsh, but the majority of people in the UK are undoubtedly law abiding, and have the opinion they do not wish to pay extra to cover the cost of shop theft.
Retailers have been faced with some tough decisions during the recession. Some big names have folded, whilst other big names have been forced to make large redundancies. The cost of any item stolen is a loss straight off the retailers bottom line, which ultimately could lead to job losses and higher prices.
Many police forces are very tough on retail crime, and some court sentences reflect this. For more detail see these recent (November 2013) news stories:-
Fareham Shoplifter Jailed - A Fareham shoplifter who admitted stealing while subject to a suspended sentence has been jailed by Fareham Magistrates.
Face Cream Thief Jailed - A man who stole vast quantities of face cream from Boots the Chemist has been given 3 jail sentences.
Make Up Thief Jailed - Wolverhampton shoplifter who stole make-up was given a prison sentence
Serial Southsea shoplifter jailed for 16 weeks for theft - Portsmouth magistrates sentenced a man to 16 weeks in prison for theft from B&Q, Tesco and Sainsburys.
Shoplifter Jailed for 15 months - CCTV showed the defendant leaving the store without paying for goods, she was arrested by police.
Spalding shoplifter jailed for 12 weeks - He was arrested for theft of a bottle of wine and meat.
Stealing 40 Packets of Gum in Dudley’s Poundland Store Leads to Jail - Judge Robin Onions said: “This security guard was simply doing his job. Until you decide you are going to change your ways you are going to receive longer and longer custodial sentences."
Meat Thief Gets 6 Month Jail Term - A man who stole large quantities of meat from the Co-op and DVD's from Tesco was jailed by Burton Magistrates.
Man Jailed Following Shoplifting - A 24-year-old man has been jailed for 12 weeks after committing thefts from shops, including one at Boots the Chemist whilst pushing his two-year-old child in a pram with seven packets of nappies on the handles which he failed to pay for and when challenged by security guards he fled, leaving his child behind.
Prolific Cheltenham Shoplifter Jailed for Stealing - A shop thief was jailed for stealing from two branches of Waitrose plus Tesco, Debenhams and Gap.
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