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Stealing a Purse in a Shop

If a customer in a shop accuses another customer of stealing her purse, what should the shop do when the accused is 16 years old? Can they detain them? Thanks. D.

If a customer in a shop accuses another customer of stealing her purse, what should the shop do when the accused is 16 years old? Can they detain them? Thanks. D.

 

This is an important question D. What should the shop do? Nothing! Can they detain him/her? No. And it has nothing to do with the youth's age. I am assuming that there is no violence involved, that the shop manager didn't witness the incident and the youth wasn't a known to the shop as a trouble maker. All the shop can do is call the Gardai as a courtesy to the customer but they are under no special obligation to do so.

A number of our clients run shops and occasionally we get urgent calls for immediate advice. In this case I would advise the shop manager to say nothing and don't get involved other than - if the purse owner was upset to bring her into the manager's office and from the privacy of the office phone the Gardai. While you're waiting, watch the CCTV footage with the lady and burn a copy onto disk as evidence for the Gardai. Under no circumstances should the youth be even approached or spoken to as this might become grounds for a claim in defamation or false imprisonment which could cost the shop tens of thousands of Euro. In such circumstances of detention etc., it would be up to the shop to prove that it acted correctly and this can be very hard.

As far as I can see from the question there is no legal responsibility on the shop for the thieft of this wallet. So, leave it to the Gardai.

 

 

The issues raised in the answer to this NewsTalk listener's question are dealt with in a general way as can only be the case on live radio. Before relying on the advice given in this answer, whether you heard the broadcast or are for the first time reading the issues here please do not rely on the broad advice given. For a detailed professional opinion please consult a qualified legal advisor and for further details read our disclaimer on the Home Page.

The issues raised in the answer to this NewsTalk listener's question are dealt with in a general way as can only be the case on live radio. Before relying on the advice given in this answer, whether you heard the broadcast or are for the first time reading the issues here please do not rely on the broad advice given. For a detailed professional opinion please consult a qualified legal advisor and for further details read our disclaimer on the Home Page.

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