Anorak News | Trouble In Store & Supermarket

Trouble In Store & Supermarket

by | 15th, March 2007

blaine.jpg“TESCO jails’ and more DNA testing planned.

So says the Times’ front-page headline.

Home Office proposals are for retail jails.

One is being planned for London’s Selfridges department store. The intention is that a shopper suspected of yobbery or shoplifting will be placed in a room with a clear front.

The suspect will wait in a state of abject shame, visible to one and all as they await the sound of boots at the door, police rescue and a chance to tell their side of the story.

The Home Office is getting tough. These modern day stocks will root out the hoodies. Selfridges will become a no-go zone for shoplifters – unless, of course, the suspect’s gang wants to gawp at them.

And there are other possible benefits. Selfridges might invite the shoplifter to model items retrieved from their person. This would advertise how very much in demand the stuff is.

The store could use its front window as the holding bay. There were once pole dances in the Selfridges window, so why not hoodies? Changing times in the window on the world.

But will the trap catch only the guilty?

What of the dads and the sons. Trailing about the racks of clothes with mum and sister on a Saturday afternoon, they will see an escape route. If they are to steal anything, best make it a newspaper, a good book or a magazine. Get caught and spend up to four house is isolated splendour. Take a pocket radio along and listen to the football.

And this haven will not just be on offer to Londoners. The Times talks of a network of “short-term holding facilities” in shopping centres and on high streets.

The Home Office paper, Modernising Police Powers, says such a move will enable identities to be checked. The incarcerated will be finger-printed, photographed and swabbed”.

The Home Office paper also suggests allowing police to fingerprint anyone aged 10 or over accused of non-recordable offences – those which do not carry a custodial sentence.

As the paper notes, these crimes include speeding, failing to wear a seat belt, allowing a dog to soil a path and littering.

Gareth Crossman, policy director of civil rights group Liberty, is not impressed. “The Government is fast replacing the best traditions of English law with a chilling presumption of guilt,” says he.

Many will debate what change Mr Crossman is referring to. Others will be happy to sit in silence…

Posted: 15th, March 2007 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink