By D. P. Walsh
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Additional info for Shoplifting: Controlling a Major Crime
During the twenty years he had been a magistrate, he and other magistrates had strongly condemned the practice. Tradesmen, however, still exposed their goods, owing to greed for gain. A tradesman in court said it was done in the ordinary course of business. Mr. Ellison said it was no excuse for such a practice which required to be checked. 7 Chesney continues (1970, p. 155): In poor districts, one often found narrow streets almost like oriental bazaars, lined with shops that were little more than open-fronted caves, their stock festooned about the entry or laid on trestles.
The implications of how the shrinkage figure is derived and the manifold motivations that may lie behind it are of less interest than what the total figure is. If the figure is low in percentage terms in relation to turnover, then the profit curve will climb above it effortlessly on the graph, and the manager can then disregard shrinkage (including shoplifting). Such a stark, factual, economic approach is, in terms of prevailing morality, clearly a reprehensible stand to take given the issues at stake.
On the division, the numbers were, Ayes 72, Noes 34 .... 2 Apri/1813. The Bill was thrown out in the Lords to-day upon the second reading by a majority of 26 to 15 .... 15 Feb. 1816. The Bill to repeal the Shoplifting Act of King William was read a third time and passed. It would have passed, as it had done in all its former stages, without a word being said upon it, but I took this occasion to mention that while the Bill had been in its progress through the House, a boy of the name George Barrett, who was only ten years of age, had been convicted at the Old Bailey, under the Act, and was then lying in Newgate under sentence of death.