Boss calls for debate on crime penalties

Lord Tebbitt talking at the crime seminar in Bury.

Lord Tebbitt talking at the crime seminar in Bury.

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A SHOPPING centre boss has called for a debate into the severity of punishments dished out to persistent criminals such as shoplifters.

Paul Haynes, manager of the arc, in Bury St Edmunds, said there needs to be more of a deterrent for regular offenders.

He was speaking at a seminar in the town, which was organised by Suffolk Police and partner agencies to develop approaches to deter business crime.

Mr Haynes said: “The next challenge and seminar I would like to see is about the court system and penalties for what’s described as low relating crime.I don’t think all the effort that’s put in by the various agencies to get them to book is really rewarded with results that are a deterrent.

“I would like to see the next challenge as being how we can address that with a reparation process that’s balanced with an appropriate penalty as a deterrent to stop them.

“I agree with the reparation process at the moment but I would like to see penalties for regular persistent offenders. Everyone deserves a second chance but we know of incidents where people have committed ongoing regular offences without deterrent. I’m referencing the views of a number of retailers and my own personal view.”

The seminar, in The Athenaeum, featured other business experts, an ex- offender and police officers who addressed issues such as evaluating CCTV and deterring burglary.

The event was launched by Lord Tebbit, who spoke about reducing crime by first changing the social climate.

He said: “As an employer change the climate within your own business and make sure you’re giving a good example to all your employees.”