Home Politics Shoplifters who assault staff face six months in jail under dedicated new...

Shoplifters who assault staff face six months in jail under dedicated new offence


New Measures Announced

Shoplifters who assault staff could now face six months in jail under a new dedicated offence. The Home Office has unveiled a package of measures to combat the rising trend of store theft.

Increased Tagging and Facial Recognition

The new measures also include increased tagging for repeat offenders and a widespread deployment of high-tech facial recognition cameras in shops. The specific new crime for attacking retail workers will carry a penalty of up to six months in prison or an unlimited fine.

Crackdown on Violence

Offenders convicted of assaulting shop workers will also receive a Criminal Behaviour Order preventing them from returning to the targeted store. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak emphasized the importance of protecting local businesses and their employees from crime and abuse.

Rising Shoplifting Incidents

Shop workers have expressed concern over the surge in violence from thieves targeting their stores. Many report frustration with law enforcement's response to shoplifting incidents, which cost the industry an estimated £1 billion annually.

State of the Art Technology

As part of the new measures, a provision in the Criminal Justice Bill will mandate electronic tagging for individuals convicted of assaulting staff or repeated shoplifting. The government has allocated £55 million for the implementation of advanced facial recognition technology over the next four years.

Industry Response

Helen Dickinson of the British Retail Consortium applauded the announcement, stating that the voices of the three million retail workers calling for better protection are finally being heard.

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