The Justice Secretary Alex Chalk has warned shoplifters this Christmas that they will “face the force of the law” if they attack retail staff.
Chalk has assured all retail workers that anyone who assaults a shop worker in a “cowardly way” could face “prison.”
Labour MP Chris Elmore (Ogmore) told justice questions in the House of Commons, “I echo the concerns of the Usdaw trade union and the British Independent Retail Association who fear that scrapping short sentences will only embolden retail criminals.”
Elmore continued: “The Secretary of State will know that there’s far too many shop workers, particularly as we go to the festive period, who will face being attacked in shops across the UK.
“There’s been a 24% increase, according to the police, in shoplifting in the last year, so can the Secretary of State assure the House the probation service can cope with the expected surge in retail crime, and ensure those who work in shops will be protected and anyone who attacks them will face the full force of the law?”
Chalk resonded, “He is absolutely right. Those who behave in such an appalling way should expect to feel exactly that – the full force of the law.
“And let me be crystal clear – those who pose a particular threat to individuals can expect the clang of the prison gate.
“Those who commit offences whilst they are on an order – be it a community order, be it a stalking prevention order, a domestic abuse protection order – can also expect to be out with the presumption.
“What we also want to be clear is, through the use of tags, if people do not abide by stringent requirements – which could include, by the way, not to go to a particular shopping precinct, and they breach that – they can expect one outcome and one outcome only: prison.”