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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 70302
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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a friend of mine was stupidly caught taking an article out

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a friend of mine was stupidly caught taking an article out from M&S which she is so sorry for and stopped by security outside shop. She had swapped the item with one she brought back but did it in changing room not at till.they took her to the office and called the police who wrote it all down in their little book and got her to sign it and she had to pay £30 to M&S then to them for a charity, They didnt caution her or arrest her. The security said they had been watching her and had seen her on the cameras, and asked if shed done it before.They gave her back her original item. she offered to pay for the other but they said no and then let her go. M&S gave her a paper signed by them about the Civil Recovery programme.Does this mean she has to pay these people money.Will she hear anything else from them or not.

Hi Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.


Just to clarify, the police took no action over this?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No, he wrote what had happened in his notebook which she had to sign then asked if she would be willing to pay £30 to one of M&S 's charrities, which she did and she had to sign that as well. then they took her name and address,and asked if she had been in trouble before and she said she hadn't.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

she is so worried about it and would never do anything like that again. Can they take her to court. Shes also got a ban from shopping in M&S


Just to clarify as well, they recovered the goods in saleable condition?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes they were in saleable condition, they had the sales label on them.I forgot to say my friend is in her late 60s.


This is nothing to worry about then. They have no claim because her actions caused no loss. They recovered the goods in saleable condition so were not caused a loss.

The reason they are claiming this sum is that they are trying to make her liable for their security measures and they will not get away with that in court. Its too remote from the loss.

Usually the threat is that if people don't pay they will call the police but thats already been considered here and they have taken not action.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Will she have to pay anything to the recovery programme as the paper M&S gave her said the solicitors Drydensfairfax will be notifying her of the amount to be charged for cost of security detection and other loss recovery costs. Also does it mean she can never go to M&S again.

Not unless she has caused them actual losses.

As I said above, the security costs are too remote from her actions as they would have to employ them anyway.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX that will be the end of it as she was worried the police might contact her about it

That is usually the threat.

but its not likely that would happen in the circumstances as they have already attended.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

would the police keep this on their records

Yes, the fact of the attendance will be recorded although it won't show on CRB checks.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

How long would they keep the security tapes for

The police don't keep those. Thats down to the policy of the store. usually 28 days.
Jo C. and other UK Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Forgot to say they said theyd been watching her and had a picture of her taken in the store a few days before so what shed like to know is they must have been watching her then so what if they try to say she was trying to steal something then

Unless they have evidence of that the police will not act. If they did have evidence they probably would have mentioned it at the outset.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

would they be likely to go back and look at tapes of other times shed been in the store

They could do that but its not likely. Its not worth the manpower.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Its just that they said theyd been watching her thats made her feel bad.

What if they thought she'd done it before?

They are going to have to prove it but then they probably would have mentioned that to the officer when he was called originally.

All the CCTV will show is her concealing items which is not enough to prove a theft.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

how long will the police keep the record that they attended

That will be retained forever on pnc