Labour's New Justice Chief on Family Shop Theft ordeal
Labour's New Justice Chief o...
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Labour's New Justice Chief on Family Shop Theft ordeal

17 October 2023
2 min.
Labour's New Justice Chief on Family Shop Theft ordeal

Shoplifting Epidemic

The newly appointed head of Labour's justice division has shared a personal anecdote about her family's corner shop, which was persistently targeted by thieves. Shabana Mahmood, the Shadow Justice Secretary, not only recounted her experience but also made a solemn commitment to combat the rampant shoplifting issue afflicting the high streets of Britain.

In an interview with the Mirror, Ms. Mahmood described these thefts as "violations," emphasizing the emotional toll they took. She recounted how her family endured racial abuse when the thieves stole the cash register from their Birmingham store when she was younger. Losing money is one thing, but losing both cash and enduring racial abuse was a distressing experience for her family.

Her father's response was to purchase a brand new cash register, a significant investment. However, it was stolen again just two weeks later. Her father decided against buying another cash register and resorted to using a money tray.

Ms. Mahmood, who serves as the Member of Parliament for Birmingham Ladywood and was recently appointed as Shadow Justice Secretary, expressed her strong desire to prevent other families from enduring the same ordeal. She noted that many local business owners have consistently highlighted shoplifting as one of their most pressing issues, with some resorting to protecting their merchandise behind glass panels, as they feel there's no point in calling the police.

At the recent Labour Party conference in Liverpool, Keir Starmer made a firm commitment to address the growing problem of shoplifting. He praised The Mirror's "Clamp Down on Shoplifting" campaign, which has been advocating for a change in Tory laws that classify theft of goods worth less than £200 as a minor offense, resulting in minimal fines for offenders.

Starmer vowed to put an end to this issue that effectively decriminalizes many shoplifting incidents should Labour come into power. He also pledged to introduce new legislation to ensure that those who attack shopkeepers face more stringent penalties.

Shoplifting costs UK retailers nearly £1 billion annually, with about 8 million incidents in a year. Only a small fraction of cases result in criminal charges, highlighting the need for immediate action.

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Member of Parliament (MP) for Birmingham Ladywood
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