Daniel Zeichner has welcomed news that the police will be required by the Home Office to start prosecuting shoplifters who steal less than £200 as a victory for common sense.
Mr Zeichner has been campaigning for this change since he met fed-up Cambridge Co-op staff. Local shop keepers told him that they felt unsafe dealing with the thieves brazenly walking in and repeatedly stealing joints, steaks and burgers.
The local MP has frequently raised the issue of shop lifting with the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire and spoken to Government Ministers about how shop lifting should be treated as a priority.
National figures show over three quarters of criminals stealing from local shops are repeat offenders.
Mr Zeichner said: “The policy of giving fixed penalty notices to shop thieves failed. Shop workers have been left frightened and everyone else left picking up the bill. I welcome this move to prosecute more offenders. This isn’t normally a case of someone hungry taking a sandwich, it is about organised crime. People come in and steal meat, alcohol and detergent to order. We also urgently need a new approach that recognises that the theft may be the symptom of an underlying cause like drug addiction.”