HC Deb 08 April 1976 vol 909 c613
3. Mr. Adley

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to reduce shoplifting from food supermarkets in accordance with his Department's working party report.

Dr. Summerskill

The working party's report was widely distributed to the retail trade at the time of publication. Action to implement the recommendations on ways of preventing shoplifting is a matter for individual retailers.

Mr. Adley

Is the hon. Lady aware that a Southampton woman recently committed suicide while awaiting the hearing of her case on a charge of shoplifting, involving goods of the value of £1.29? In view of the clear connection between the increase in the number of food supermarkets and the increase in the number of shoplifting charges, will the hon. Lady now consider a review with a view to making it mandatory for supermarkets to carry out the recommendations? If she does not do so, they will never be carried out.

Dr. Summerskill

I regret the incident that the hon. Gentleman has mentioned, but the recommendations of the working party were aimed at the retailer. The recommendations did not ask for Government action, nor did they recommend any legislation. We are doing everything possible to encourage retailers to adopt the recommendations of the report.