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Forman & Son MD Lance Forman says Lammy will encourage crime against the perceived well-off

PUBLISHED: 10:04 11 March 2015 | UPDATED: 10:04 11 March 2015

CARMEN VALINO ALL RIGHTS - on shift

In a recent report, Labour MP and London mayoral hopeful, David Lammy said it was wrong to base punishment for shoplifters, as the law currently stands, on the monetary value of the items stolen.

Instead, he claimed “stealing from chains and department stores should be regarded as a less serious crime than pilfering from the corner shop. The impact of a £150 theft, for example, would be far greater on an independent corner shop than on Fortnum & Mason, yet this is not reflected under the current Act”.

If this is Labour thinking, what has the world come to? Should people who abduct children from large families get a lesser punishment, than those abducting only children, because, the family still has other children? The crime is the crime, no matter whether the victim can afford it or not. There should not be 50 shades of grey here, just black and white, right and wrong.

And let’s take the case of Fortnum & Mason. For many years, until very recently, the store had been making significant losses.

It could less afford, therefore, to have products stolen than a corner shop whose owner may make a decent enough living. And what’s more, Fortnum & Mason is owned by a charitable trust, so shoplifting from it is stealing from charity!

How disgusting.

The problem with Lammy’s lame thinking is that it shows total ignorance of the victim’s circumstances, will encourage crime against the perceived well-off, and indeed demonstrates Labour’s lack of understanding of business too. Just because a building has brass knobs on it, doesn’t mean it can afford to have them ripped off.

The thought of a Labour government so out of tune with business and so lacking in understanding of how business operates is a crime in my view.

Businesses create the wealth that pays for all the things society wants. It will be interesting to see whether Labour are punished for this crime in May.

The jury is out.

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