Retail Crime — [Mr Laurence Robertson in the Chair]

Part of Backbench Business – in Westminster Hall at 1:30 pm on 11th April 2019.

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Photo of Kate Green Kate Green Chair, Committee on Standards, Chair, Committee on Privileges 1:30 pm, 11th April 2019

I apologise for not being able to stay for the whole debate. Like my right hon. Friend, I am proud to be an USDAW member, and I very much welcome the debate. He is right to highlight the theft of high-value goods, which is sometimes related to addiction and sometimes—particularly in the case of women offenders—results from coercion by others to obtain goods that can be sold for those coercive partners to benefit from. Does he agree that it would be well worth the Minister’s while to look at the initiative undertaken in Manchester, where women caught shoplifting in such circumstances are diverted not to the criminal justice system per se, but to women’s centres? Good, preventive work can be done there to deal with addiction, domestic abuse, coercion and other causes of this kind of retail crime committed by violent and dangerous offenders, and also some vulnerable offenders.