Kingston store posts pictures of suspected thieves

A Kingston shop tired of shoplifters has placed pictures of the suspected thieves on their wall.

The Aris store located within the post office on Eden Street has been using a “Rogues’ gallery” which it updates regularly with CCTV pictures of the suspected thieves.

Mahesh Ramiah, the assistant manager said: “We are tired of being constantly stolen from. Nearly every week someone was stealing from us.”

The shop operates on tight margins and the amount of theft it experienced began to eat into its profits.

The staff decided it would start pinning the pictures of the suspected thieves on the wall in an attempt to deter any would-be thieves.

So far it has been an effective tactic and the staff claim that theft has gone down in recent months.

Ramaih said: “The thieves up on our wall have not returned and everyone else will think twice before robbing us knowing we will expose them to the community.”

However, the shop could be in breach of the 2018 Data Protection Act and the staff liable for fines, as a shopkeeper in Bournemouth was warned by police earlier this year.

Concerns range from defamation to encouraging vigilantism.

A representative of the Met said: “We do not encourage people to take the law into their own hands and are currently looking into these incidents. We also encourage the public to report any crime they witness to us and let us investigate.”

Steven Berkley, a customer who supports the gallery, said: “If the police are unable to help then it is up to the owner to protect their business.”

Ramiah believes part of the problem is the area. “We are the only shop left on this road, and the only one open until late at night. It attracts the wrong sort of people,” he said.

A violent customer attacked him in July while he was opening the shop for weekend trade. He said: “It took the police thirty minutes to get here and they came from Chessington, which is mad, they have a station just around the corner.”

Police are currently investigating the incident.

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