Former Northampton retail worker speaks out against 'nightmare' abusive shoplifters and criticises police response

‘It's a free for all, really. It's absolutely disgusting’

Friday, 15th July 2022, 4:30 pm

A former employee at a large retailer in Northampton has spoken out about how “no-one gets paid enough to put up with the daily abuse” he used to face.

The man, who wishes to remain anonymous, has revealed what it was like working at the retailer in Northampton.

He said: "It's a free for all, really. It's absolutely disgusting. They're just running in, taking what they want and running out. Staff are powerless to stop them, they get told not to chase them out the door. When they do get stopped, I've known people to get punched and spat at - I've had that. It's a daily thing.

B&M in Victoria Promenade

"It's just a nightmare. People take what they like. And the police, it's just ridiculous, you don't get any police presence to come down and help combat it."

Asked what it's like to be spat at, the man said: "I think it's disgusting. It's the lowest of the low. I'd rather be hit than spat at. I don't know what goes through people's heads when they do it.

"The abuse, it's stick and stones. I'm thick skinned but it depends on how sensitive you are.

"Those guys down there do not get paid enough to be abused like they do."

In terms of thefts, the man said he has witnessed one shoplifter steal three Henry hoover vacums all in the same heist, and one woman nearly stole a trolley full of goods worth a total of £1,500 if he had not caught her in the act.

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He said: "Without support from the police or higher management this sadly will keep happening and they lose more staff due to the issues.

"The shoplifting will never stop. The police need to do more, get heavy with these regulars.

"Even when they are banned from the store they simply return, knowing there isn’t any repercussions from the police."

In a message to the minority of the public who are problem shoppers, the man said: "They wouldn't like it if you turned up at their place of work and did exactly the same. Nobody would. Some people just think it's their God given right. Think before you act and say anything."

A Northamptonshire Police spokeswoman said: "I have had a look on our systems since March and can see a handful of reports made to us. On every occasion we have responded on a grade one (emergency response) when violence was involved and the offenders were still in situ.

"We would continue to encourage anyone who witnesses a crime to call us to report it so we can respond."

A teenager was arrested this week (Tuesday) on suspicion of shop lifting and common assault.

The 16-year-old had been detained by the store’s security and became aggressive with a security guard, according to police who were called to the retail park.

The teenager was released under investigation pending further enquiries, according to police.