If someone you know has been arrested or charged with shoplifting, it is imperative to hire a shoplifting lawyer to help protect the legal rights and avoid a criminal conviction. Sometimes, mere suspicion is not enough to charge a person with shoplifting. Besides that, states have different laws on shoplifting based on the value of the item shoplifted.
Last year, in Greater Manchester, shoplifters carried out 18,000 crimes and got away with nearly all of them. According to the latest crime figures, two acts of shoplifting happen every hour but 85% of the cases are dropped by police authorities and prosecutors because of lack of resources.
According to the British Retail Consortium, shoplifting costs the nation an estimated £500 million every year but very few of the cases are investigated or reach the court. Last year, more than half of the shoplifting investigations were dropped because the suspects were not identified. In some instances, there was lack of evidence. Some of the shoplifting cases were jettisoned because they were considered to be not in public interest to proceed with prosecution.
Only 9% of shoplifters were charged in court or summoned by the courts for the crime. 4% of the cases are usually settled out of court. As few as 1% of the shoplifting cases were considered for sentencing as a serious crime.
Last April, Chf Con Ian Hopkins admitted that more than 40% of shoplifting crimes were not investigated by the police in Greater Manchester because they are struggling with the high rate of crimes after more than 2,000 police officers were lost due to austerity programs. Police officers have to focus on more serious and violent crimes.
In the last 12 months, Swinton-based Quality Save lost £1.5 million to shoplifters even with the presence of CCTV’s and security guards. Lack of response from the police makes offenders confident to commit more crimes.
Some people who shoplift are first offenders. In order to avoid a criminal record, the services of a shoplifting lawyer who has extensive experience in defending shoplifting allegations are required. The legal issue can be resolved without the need to make an admission of a crime.