Shoplifter costs – court says 'no'

Posted: 15th June 2012

Many High Street chains operate a policy of suing repeat shoplifters for the costs associated with apprehending and prosecuting them. The practical effect is that the cost of being caught may massively exceed the value of the goods stolen.
Although these cases have been more or less rubber-stamped in the courts, a recent judgment has gone against the retailer concerned.
Recovery agency Retail Loss Prevention (RLP) brought a civil action for recovery of £137.50 of costs connected with shoplifting by two teenage girls. Oxford County Court threw out the claim on the basis that RLP had failed to show that it had incurred any additional costs as a result of the incident.
It remains to be seen whether this decision will be appealed.