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NSW Can Police Locate Person Caught Shoplifting on CCTV?

Discussion in 'Criminal Law Forum' started by John_mc _, 7 May 2016.

  1. John_mc _

    John_mc _ Active Member

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    If a person is caught on CCTV stealing / shoplifting an item worth $2000, then in the same store before leaving the store pays for a much cheaper item via eftpos. If the crime is reported to police, would they be able to locate the person, having just CCTV footage and bank details from eftpos pos? Are there obligations for police to act in that type of scenario?

    Thanks
     
  2. Gorodetsky

    Gorodetsky Well-Known Member

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    Hi john-mc-,

    Your questions: would they be able to locate the person? Well, assuming the bank account belonged to that person, they can get a name and address. But there's no guarantee the account belongs to that person, or that they are living at that address.

    The CCTV from other cameras around the shop might show the person getting into a car, or talking to other people. The CCTV of the person in the shop may help confirm the person's identity for evidence.
    And then the stolen goods might lead the police to the thief, if the goods are identifiable. But there are no guarantees the police will catch the person if they do actually try.

    Are there obligations to act?

    Yes. The NSW police code of conduct requires police to "uphold the values of the NSW police". Those values are set out in the police act 1990. " uphold the rule of law" is one of them.

    So, I'm guessing you have reported a crime, and the cops have done nothing. The police have an obligation to keep the victim informed of their progress. If they have failed to do a satisfactory job then you can make a complaint.

    I hope this helps
     
  3. Gorodetsky

    Gorodetsky Well-Known Member

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  4. James19801

    James19801 Active Member

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    Any suggestions besides a complaint?

    Was the original poster asking for help as the offender?
     
  5. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Good point.

    My observation: If an offender suffers from this kind of anxiety then it would seem best not to offend in the first place.
     
  6. John_mc _

    John_mc _ Active Member

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    Thanks Gorodetsky, James, Rod..

    The situations is a suspected thief.

    ( that the police accept / agree is the suspect )

    Paid for goods with eftpos, but the constable(s) have said the banks are strict and won't provide them with the suspect's name/ address. So they weren't going to contact the banks to request the details. Said the bank would only give out such info for more serious crimes such as missing persons, etc.
     
  7. John_mc _

    John_mc _ Active Member

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    No, wasn't asking for help as an offender.
     
  8. Gorodetsky

    Gorodetsky Well-Known Member

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    Hi john-mc-,

    Mmmm, smells like BS.

    I'm not a solicitor, but this journo suggests they need to get a magistrate to sign off on a "notice to produce"...

    NSW Police want warrantless bank data access | smh.com.au

    You've been brushed off.

    Welcome to the club.

    On the other hand, they'd have to be idiots to use their own account to identify themselves...so if you get the cops to do their job and investigate, it probably won't be the offender's details.

    But then most criminals are stupid so...

    Regards
     
  9. John_mc _

    John_mc _ Active Member

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    Haha

    Yeah, maybe been brushed off? A brief perusal of the privacy act 1998, indicates situations where police are entitled to make a request to business for information; then also other situations where via a judge/ warrant a 'notice to produce' may be issued.

    A brazen criminal who thought they got away with a crime, perhaps wouldn't hesitate to pay for small goods via eftpos. Maybe you're right though and the suspect had a fake eftpos card/ bank account.
     
  10. Gorodetsky

    Gorodetsky Well-Known Member

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    Hi John-mc,

    No really. Crims are often really really stupid. There is a reasonable chance they used their own card. The NSW ombudsman did a paper about "notices to produce"...

    https://www.ombo.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/6049/Law-Enforcement-Act-Part-4-Ap.pdf

    Figure 24 and figure 25 suggest more than half of all the Notices to Produce are for Fraud offenses...not missing persons after all.

    Oh yeah, and check out : 37.1.4.2 average time for a notice to produce to be considered (on a sample of only 52) was 6.5 minutes...

    Figure 23...they did 2675 over about 2 years...

    Do you think they investigated your matter properly?

    Regards
     

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