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Stopped on the Street by Store Workers

Re: Stopped on the Street by Store Workers

Postby Smouldering Stoat » Wed Jan 18, 2017 7:56 pm

Write to them and tell them if they don't cough up the going rate of a monkey, you'll sue.
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Re: Stopped on the Street by Store Workers

Postby Hairyloon » Wed Jan 18, 2017 9:01 pm

Smouldering Stoat wrote:Write to them and tell them if they don't cough up the going rate of a monkey, you'll sue.

Some explanation for the source of the "going rate" would not go amiss.
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Re: Stopped on the Street by Store Workers

Postby steve » Thu Jan 19, 2017 9:52 am

Perhaps the best thing to do is decide on what you would regard as a satisfactory resolution to the matter.


Probably nominal compensation for loss of enjoyment of the evening and the bottle of wine, and loss of productivity the following day or two. And in particular an apology wouldn't go amiss.

While the store is branded with the name of its main supplier, it is an independent business. I suspect that the store owner may not fully recognise British law and customs based on the number of times that payments for goods frequently were not rung up on the till. So persuading him of his responsibilities may be difficult and going to court is unlikely.

My partner got the impression from the Police that this was not the first time.

Likely we will write letters to store owner and supplier, and wait and see what the Police do (we have a crime reference number).
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Re: Stopped on the Street by Store Workers

Postby shootist » Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:05 am

steve wrote:Probably nominal compensation for loss of enjoyment of the evening and the bottle of wine, and loss of productivity the following day or two. And in particular an apology wouldn't go amiss.


Unlawful detention has been the subject of a lot of cases over the years. I doubt an apology is part of the process. IIRC, there is case law that states a somewhat generalised compensation of £500 for the first hour or part thereof, and up to £1,000 for the first day. The basis being that the actual arrest and initial confinement constitutes a most significant part of the trauma of such events. This tariff rises according to other additional circumstances, which may include assault/s. The principle being that people should not be unlawfully imprisoned, arrested etc.

steve wrote:While the store is branded with the name of its main supplier, it is an independent business. I suspect that the store owner may not fully recognise British law and customs based on the number of times that payments for goods frequently were not rung up on the till.


HMRC might be very interested in this business's laissez-faire approach to recording transactions. And failing to recognise British laws and customs is as poor a defence as being ignorant of them i.e. none whatsoever.

steve wrote: So persuading him of his responsibilities may be difficult and going to court is unlikely.


Why on earth should his going to court be unlikely? The only difficulty you may have in that respect is proving who exactly owns the business. You have to sue the right person / business and this one sounds like it could be very questionable.

steve wrote:My partner got the impression from the Police that this was not the first time.


Useful to know if you can get this verified.

steve wrote:Likely we will write letters to store owner and supplier, and wait and see what the Police do (we have a crime reference number).


Letters about what? The supplier is of no consequence. The only letter you need to write is a letter before action. This needs to contain 1) What the problem is. 2) what you want done about it. 3) What you are going to do if it is not done (take them to court) 4) How long they have to comply (usually 14 days or so). This is needed because you cannot take someone to court by 'surprise'.

For evidence you will need to know the identity of the men doing the detaining. Only if the shop acknowledges that they have some employment can you go after the shop. You may find that the shop denies any formal association with the men because they were just friends who were helping out on their own initiative. In that case you need to go after the men themselves who must therefore be identified. The police may be able to help in that if they don't take cover behind the Data Protection Act. They can probably be obliged to reveal these details but it can be a right PITA getting them to do so.

Your description of the shop sounds very similar to many of the shops I had dealings with during my time with Trading Standards. If that is the case then the chances of you getting any recompense are about as good as succeeding in poking butter up a porcupine's backside with a red hot needle. The men doing the detaining will be discovered to be unknown friends of friends who were just helping out and have now moved to another part of the world, the shop owner will never be found face to face (usually at the cash and carry) and the exact ownership may never be discovered. Best of luck.

As far as the police are concerned, I would guess that you probably do not have a crime number, but rather an incident number which merely records your complaint. If it's a crime number then there is some small chance that the police might have to do something about it and that is not usually viewed by them as a good thing. The easiest way to find this out is to ask the police what they are doing about your complaint. On a good day they may even tell you. Be sure to try and speak to a police officer. Difficult but not impossible. When you speak to anyone on the phone about this, ask them whether they are a police officer or some other functionary.

Edit:
On re-reading I realise that the premises are licensed so you may find it worth reporting to the local council licensing department. There are various licensing practices that are usually obligatory. A complaint to them might wake up the store, and the council licensing committees sometimes are quite effective. Definitely worth a go.
Last edited by shootist on Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:16 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Stopped on the Street by Store Workers

Postby Hairyloon » Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:11 am

steve wrote:While the store is branded with the name of its main supplier, it is an independent business...

Independence only goes so far I think: if they work under the banner of a brand, then they affect the reputation of that brand.
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Re: Stopped on the Street by Store Workers

Postby shootist » Thu Jan 19, 2017 2:05 pm

Hairyloon wrote:
steve wrote:While the store is branded with the name of its main supplier, it is an independent business...

Independence only goes so far I think: if they work under the banner of a brand, then they affect the reputation of that brand.


But not the legal liabilities.
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Re: Stopped on the Street by Store Workers

Postby Hairyloon » Thu Jan 19, 2017 2:13 pm

shootist wrote:
Hairyloon wrote:
steve wrote:While the store is branded with the name of its main supplier, it is an independent business...

Independence only goes so far I think: if they work under the banner of a brand, then they affect the reputation of that brand.


But not the legal liabilities.

That depends upon the precise details of the relationship between the store keeper and the owner of the brand emblazoned across his shop front.
i doubt that it is as simple as between buyer and seller and there is no reciprocal responsibility.
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Re: Stopped on the Street by Store Workers

Postby diy » Thu Jan 19, 2017 2:42 pm

As long as they own assets, they will need to comply with a county court judgement no matter how much they dislike the idea.
My suggestions are not legal advice
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Re: Stopped on the Street by Store Workers

Postby shootist » Thu Jan 19, 2017 5:49 pm

Hairyloon wrote:
shootist wrote:
Hairyloon wrote:
steve wrote:While the store is branded with the name of its main supplier, it is an independent business...

Independence only goes so far I think: if they work under the banner of a brand, then they affect the reputation of that brand.


But not the legal liabilities.

That depends upon the precise details of the relationship between the store keeper and the owner of the brand emblazoned across his shop front.
i doubt that it is as simple as between buyer and seller and there is no reciprocal responsibility.


The bottom line is has the supplier any vicarious liability for the actions of the people who did the detaining or is it the shop? It may very likely be the shop's burden if the shop is a separate legal entity from the supplier, such as a limited company in it's own right, or a sole trader who has a franchise from the named supplier. Bear in mind the need to prove that the people doing the detaining had some sort of relationship with the shop to the extent the shop has the vicarious liability for their actions. I suspect that even asking them to keep an eye on the shop might be sufficient.

By way of example, take a well known burger fast food chain. Many of the 'restaurants' are a franchise and the relationship between the name on the signs outside and the business entity are limited to selling what the franchiser wants them to sell.
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Re: Stopped on the Street by Store Workers

Postby atticus » Thu Jan 19, 2017 5:51 pm

Yep.
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