Can American supercop Bill Bratton advise Ely police too?

While our courts are working round the clock dishing out justice to looting thieves, why can’t all traders expect the same justice from the judiciary after being targeted by shoplifters?

My husband and pa-in-law both have stalls at the Ely Waterside Antique Centre where thieves have struck regularly over the last year, nicking £6,000 stock. They are so clever and know how to evade the security cameras.

The centre’s owner, Tom Peters, thought his luck had changed when a suspect was recently caught stealing a hat red-handed, only for the police to refuse to prosecute. He is naturally furious that police refuse to bring charges and accuses them of having a “laid back” attitude towards shoplifting from his business. I’ve heard other retailers say pretty much the same, that it’s nigh impossible to get the police to prosecute a shoplifter.

Tom says: “I’m absolutely fuming. We caught this woman red-handed – it was all there on the CCTV footage for police to see. We knew she’d been stealing for around three years and this was the first time we had hard evidence of her doing it.

“What message does this give to her and other thieves? The police are basically letting them get away with it every time”

The lame police response is: “We carried out an investigation into this incident and it was found that no crime had been committed.”

I think Tom deserves a better answer than than from police. If that is the case, will this woman sue the police or shop owner for wrongful arrest and slander? Why wasn’t the CCTV evidence good enough for them?

It makes me wonder if our laid back attitude towards shoplifters gave rioting looters the message that they can get away with nicking what they want.

I hope that the American supercop, gang-busting police chief Bill Bratton who David Cameron has invited over can find time to visit Ely police and give them some lessons on cracking crime too, on not letting shoplifters get away with it.


  1. Something needs to be done but I don’t think Bratton has the solution.

  2. electro-kevin

    Apparently he doesn’t actually believe in ‘zero tolerance’. His is a brand of predictive resourcing through data analysis, injunctions and banning of electronic communications to those who use devices criminally.

    The ‘broken windows’ policy is one of councils (or equivalents) keeping on top of litter and damage repairs.

    I don’t see why our streets should be filthy. Is it too much to ask for those on community service to be clearing it up ? Or even the unemployed doing a couple of hours a day for their money ? If not out of civic duty ?

    Is it only employed people who are expected to undertake civic duties and have civic pride ?

  3. Kevin, looks like Bratton could be busy….

  4. electro-kevin

    It’s not just shop lifters getting away with it.

    Bankers, politicians’ exes, ordinary criminals let off with cautions, ASBOs, reduced prison sentences in cushy prisons …

    There are also the ‘legitimate’ tax avoidance schemes used by many.

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