Civil Recovery

Some people are for Civil Recovery and some against, however there is a place for civil recovery if the process is carried out in a careful and fair manner.

It has been said that the rich can buy themselves out of trouble well Civil Recovery opens the door for all classes rich or poor to try to buy themselves their children or relatives out of trouble. A Civil Recovery claim does not resolve any criminal claims that may arise at the time that the shoplifting incident takes place. However, there is the chance that if the alleged shoplifter agrees to pay the debt quickly they might be able to persuade the retailer to drop any criminal charge in connection with the incident.

A criminal record is something that a person is stuck with for life it can stop them from pursuing some careers, some employer’s will not employee a person with a criminal record particularly one for theft. A criminal record can increase insurance premiums and in some cases insurance might not be available at all. Therefore, if someone makes one silly mistake it can have a devastating effect on their future, that mistake can cripple their progress in life and could stop them from becoming useful tax payers. They might have to resort to claiming state benefits paid for by tax payers even though that person with the criminal record might like nothing more than to contribute usefully to society and pay tax but because of one mistake, they could become outcast by society and possibly fated to draw benefits rather than pay taxes.

Civil recovery is particularly valuable when it comes to School children, they can pick up bad habits and shoplift. Civil Recovery could afford the child’s parent the possibility of negotiating the settlement of the matter and keeping it out of the criminal or civil courts and therefore possibly preventing their child’s future from being tarnished.

Civil recovery is designed to resolve tort claims not criminal claims, it is when retailers refer names to lawyers and debt collectors, who then pursue the alleged shoplifters for monetary penalties with letters and phone calls giving the shoplifter the possible opportunity to buy themselves out of trouble.

Civil Recovery is meant to help compensate retailers for money they must spend employing security guards and on other measure to secure their stores against theft and to go some way towards regaining some of the losses suffered by the store due to the crime of shoplifting. Consumers as well as retailers bear the cost of theft by shoplifters estimated at �180 a year for each UK household.

With police resources already stretched, retailers are having to take responsibility and are trying to recover some of their costs via the civil courts by the civil recovery process. However, some large stores who have taken redress via the civil recovery process have been named and shamed and now seem to have stopped using this process, whether this is a good thing or a bad thing it is for the individual to evaluate the pros and cons of. With the criminal justice system not appearing to be able to deal with the large amount of theft cases, civil recovery is one way of tackling crime and it acts as an effective deterrent. Policing theft costs the tax payer the same whether the value of the theft is high or low. The Civil Recovery process reduces litigation and the back log of court cases by affording the possibility of shoplifting cases to be settled without legal action.

For those being sent a civil recovery letter it must be a humiliating and intimidating process, however, it would probably be more humiliating and intimidating if the matter was handed over to the police.

The only problem arises is when letters are sent to people who have made an honest mistake as a result of confusion or over zealous security staff. If this happens the individual should explain to whoever sends them a civil recovery letter why they are not guilty of shoplifting and if their explanation is honest and yet not accepted then they should fight the accusation.

This guide is intended as general information only and it does not seek to summarise the relevant legislation which is a complex and technical area of law. This guide should therefore not be relied upon and you should take specific professional legal advice relating to your personal circumstances prior to taking action