Injured by Loss prevention officers at bunnings

Australia's #1 for Law
Join 150,000 Australians every month. Ask a question, respond to a question and better understand the law today!
FREE - Join Now


6 September 2018
Hi, I know its not the best of things...bad decisions on my part, ill deal with that. but i do have a serious question.

Yesterday i was caught shoplifting in bunnings, loss prevention officers approached me outside the store asked about the items, i gave them back and accompanied them back to the office to process paperwork. upon entering the office they advise me they are now calling the police because of the value of the items ($180 total but thats beside the point). i ask a few questions regarding this and why they have suddenly changed their mind and both LPO's became aggressive, raising their voices and using aggressive body language. after 10 minutes of nothing occuring i stood up and went to walk out, as i stepped past one of the LPOs the second one grabbed me from behind and pushed me, then the second pushed me in the opposite direction, this continued back into the office as i am simply jostled back and forth with one pushing me one way and the other pushing me the other reacting to the direction i was being pushed in. I sat down again and after a few minutes asked for my jacket and motioned towards it, it was refused, i saw no reason for this so slid the chair accross the room and went to take it. the LPO claimed he didnt know what was in it and i might stab him, i told him nothing was in it, search it then give it to me please. it was refused. then my phone rang, i answered it as they were not engaging with me, as soon as i answered the phone they snatched the phone from my hands and hung it up on me and then proceeded to drop the phone breaking the rear cover and increasing the number of cracks in the screen to the point where operation of the phone was compromised, which it was not prior to the LPO dropping it. i asked more questions as to why they are withholding my personal possessions now and they again became aggressive, one stood just one foot away from me with both fists closed, ready to strike as it appeared to me, i asked him to back up and he refused, i asked him again, he refused again, i explained why i am asking and was refused again, so i stood up and took some steps backwards towards the corner of the room away from the LPO, he then rushed forwards and grabbed me and tried to throw me on the floor with a headlock, this occured with both LPO's using choke holds on me to jostle me to the ground once again, once again them reacting to me being pushed by the other, i made no movements through this other than stand up and tell them to calm down, which they would not. there was no reason for them to want me on the ground. this whole time i simply stood there and said to them it is their actions causing me to move, they did not stop and once they got me to the ground still with both pushing in different directions one put me in a arm bar hold and then dropped his knee into my shoulder, i heard 4 distinct cracks when he did so and immediate severe pain and numbness shooting through my shoulder and elbow and down my arm making my hand go numb. the following day i feel that i have a broken finger, my partner said i had strong grazes around my neck and have grazes on my elbows and knees, a fractured elbow and a dislocated shoulder (and put back in) or a torn shoulder rotator cuff. I do believe this to be excessive force and i dont believe they have the right to have manhandled me like they did, i was not at any stage told i was under arrest, only that the police were being called and believed i was free to leave at any time, i had only agreed to fill out paperwork and as that was not occuring, i felt i had the right to leave. Im not sure where to go from here or what to do. the police asked me if i want to make a statement and i said that i will at a later date and i am heading to the doctors today or as soon as possible to get xrays done to find out what damage they have actually done, though i need my mental health to calm down a bit before i do that, and that may take a few days...ive taken photos and video of the injuries so i have a record of them...
do i have a right with a civil case for use of excessive force?, even though the injury occured during detention after a witnessed crime of shoplifting? i do suffer from a mental illness which doesnt help much at all. i just dont think they have handled the situation very well at all, and that i have ended up with injuries that will take many months to fully heal, being fractured bones and torn muscles, just doesnt seem right..
i do need help with this as i dont know what to do or where to start, its still overwhelming me and my mental illness isnt making it any easier to deal with...any help is much appreciated..


LawConnect (LawTap) Verified
27 May 2014
do i have a right with a civil case for use of excessive force?, even though the injury occured during detention after a witnessed crime of shoplifting?

Yes and yes.

Get your injuries assessed and then see a lawyer asap. You have personal injuries and property damage.

If there was CCTV in the room, mention it to the lawyer. The lawyer can request a special order from a court to get hold of the evidence. You may not want the footage to 'go missing'.