Retail Chain Demands Action Against Surging Crime Rates Following Low Charges in Anti-Shoplifting Effort

A prominent retail chain operating 79 stores across western Canada, including 52 in British Columbia, is calling for immediate action and justice against what it labels an “ongoing tsunami of crime.” 

London Drugs, a pharmacy and retail chain, reported a staggering 500% surge in retail violence over a span of four years, prompting a considerable increase of over $1.5 million in security expenditure at their Vancouver outlets compared to two years ago, as revealed by their loss prevention general manager, Tony Hunt.

Hunt highlighted the alarming rise in random violence, threats, racism, and abuse directed at both customers and staff by those involved in criminal activities. The company’s flagship store in downtown Vancouver now deploys eight security personnel during shifts to maintain order.

London Drugs was among 28 retailers that participated in a VPD shoplifting crackdown from February to March. However, out of the 278 charges recommended by the police, a disheartening 56% were not approved by Crown counsel.

RELATED: Is The Shoplifting Crisis Manufactured?

Hunt expressed his frustration with the process, citing the misalignment between the perception of public interest and the well-being of customers and employees. He urged the government to review the justice system’s effectiveness in serving the people of British Columbia.

“It’s really unfortunate when so much work goes into providing solid cases … and so many of them end up not being acted upon once it gets to the courts,” Hunt told Global News.

During the undercover operation, 217 arrests were made, including 47 repeat offenders. Despite this, Hunt emphasized the need for a justice system that can protect innocent individuals and break the cycle of crime.

BC Attorney General Niki Sharma declined an interview, with ministry staff clarifying the separation of the Attorney General’s role from the courts and the independent decision-making process of the BC Prosecution Service.

Information for this story was found via Global News, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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