RCMP talk addresses retail theft issues

Balance between privacy rights and store rights explained for West Shore businesses

RCMP Legal Services lawyer Kyle Friesen lays out rules for police and businesses on information they can share without breaking privacy laws.

When a business is faced with a shoplifter it can be tricky for the owners to know who they can tell and what information they can share without breaking any privacy laws.

For this reason the West Shore RCMP organized a series of workshops last week with RCMP Legal Services lawyer Kyle Friesen. RCMP members and business owners and managers took part in the workshops, which focused on explaining the rights of businesses when it comes to dealing with retail theft.

“The question is how can the two talk to each other legitimately and legally under the various privacy laws that apply?” Friesen said. “It’s good for businesses to realize they can legally and legitimately talk with police if there’s a retail theft or shoplifting situation going on.”

One point addressed was the ability of businesses to ban people from their stores. Friesen explained businesses are private property and therefore the owners have the right to ban anyone from their store they wish to, so long as the ban does not break B.C.’s Human Rights Code.

“Stores are private property, with an invitation to come in and behave properly, spend money and be nice,” Friesen said. “It’s a beautiful thing. But the moment you violate that you can be banned, forever.”

Friesen said some business owners are concerned over sharing information about shoplifters with other business owners, for fear of breaching privacy rights. Friesen said the fears are unfounded and business owners can share that information, including photographs, with other store owners and not be breaking privacy rights.

Another common misconception is that police must obtain a search warrant for businesses to be able to supply them with video surveillance footage without breaking a customers privacy rights. Friesen said this is false and businesses can turn over surveillance video to RCMP upon request.

Friesen spoke of a case in Surrey where a person was caught on camera stealing clothing from a store. The store posted an image from the video in the store. The person came back, saw the photo and is now suing the store for breach of privacy. Friesen explained the case doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

“She stole a couple thousand dollars of dresses and now she’s suing the store for putting her picture up?” Friesen said. “That’s absolutely absurd that they can have the guts to come forward like that.”

West Shore RCMP Const. Amy Brewer said with the level of retail theft in this area educating both the police and businesses owners on these types of issues is helpful.

“Retail theft is a huge problem on the West Shore,” Brewer said. “I’ve listened to his presentation twice now and I definately pick up things from it. … I think it was beneficial.”

 

 

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Check out the bells and whistles added to Westhills Stadium

Rick Stiebel/News Staff Clusters of tradespeople buzzing around busy with last-minute preparations… Continue reading

‘Listen to your body:’ Saanich woman fights to have breast implants removed

Woman struggles to find doctor to remove Allergan textured implants, recently linked to rare cancer

Police find shoes, backpack of the man found dead in Saanich

Officers credit public’s help, continue to seek information

Saanich approves new eight- and 11-storey residence buildings for UVic

Residents also supported the environmentally friendly residences

Ravens Crossing breaks ground on happy Hygge cohousing project

Speeches, music and a blessing as 80 people attend start of Danish-style development

VIDEO: Come along for the ride on Tour de Victoria

Reporter captures video footage of his Tour de Victoria ride

POLL: Should there be a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers?

We’ve all heard them, and most likely cursed them under our breath.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Aug. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Vancouver Island RCMP hunt for man after pair of indecent exposure incidents

Elderly Qualicum Beach woman grabbed by man who had been masturbating in the woods

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Pile of wood mulch ‘spontaneously combusts’ at Vancouver Island industrial site

Business owner thanks fire department for quick response

Five hedgehogs quickly adopted after being left at BC SPCA

Lucky new owners picked up their pets from Maple Ridge branch on Aug. 20

B.C. cricket players get interrupted by racist remark

Community has had protocols in place for years to respond to prejudice

Most Read