Small business body urges tougher laws on shoplifters

February 8th, 2019, Cockburn Gazette.

LAWS need to become stronger to better protect small business owners from thieves, according to the Combined Small Business Alliance of WA.

CoSBA chief executive Oliver Moon said an incident last month where the Kelmscott IGA X-press owner was charged after trying to hold a nine-year-old shoplifter until police arrived showed how desperate some small business owners were becoming after being targeted repeatedly by thieves, many of whom are still children and teenagers.

He said the small business owners, including some around the Cockburn Central Train Station, were “at breaking point” and that ineffective laws were the reason it kept happening.

“These small business owners struggle to earn enough money to feed their families without having to worry about the additional stress of stealing and threats,” he said.

“It is understandable that the police investigate and lay no charges when there is a total absence of effective laws to enable them to do so, or laws that prevent them from doing so.

“This will only create situations where these owners will close up their premises causing further upheaval in their communities.

“We urge the Government to take urgent steps to bring this situation within the law to protect small business from this totally unacceptable carnage.”

Mr Moon said the CoSBA had also sent a letter to Attorney General and Minister for Commerce John Quigley asking for action to be taken.