Plague of theft
SOARING theft from shops is laying waste to our High Streets, already battered from all sides.
As if internet retailers, crippling rents, car-hating councils and a cost-of-living crisis weren’t enough, plankton on TikTok now challenge their idiot followers to loot as much as they can from stores.
Shoplifting has rocketed 24 per cent in a year. And no wonder.
Police have given up on it.
They WILL, incredibly, grill a pensioner in her home for photographing a women’s rights sticker countering the trans nonsense too many woke forces have brainlessly swallowed. They judged this non-event a potential “hate crime”.
They WON’T turn up, though, for the vast majority of real crimes committed by thieves against shops.
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Which results in retailers like Dunelm even keeping duvets and pillowcases in locked cabinets only staff can access, as we report on Page 25.
Policing Minister Chris Philp is right to cite the implosion of San Francisco as the grimmest example of what happens when police simply capitulate.
The Californian city is fast becoming a lawless hellhole. Major stores have closed, unable to survive violent looting tolerated by cops under orders from super-woke left-wing politicians.
Mr Philp insists OUR cops must investigate every theft where CCTV is available. Fine. But the Tories cannot swerve all blame for this new crimewave.
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The rot started under New Labour, which introduced on-the-spot fines for theft from shops of a value under £200.
But it was the Tory-led Coalition which in 2014 defined it as a summary offence like speeding. Cops took that as an invitation not to investigate at all. The fine doesn’t even count as a conviction.
If criminals know police won’t show up, that they won’t be arrested and the worst result is a small fine, why wouldn’t they brazenly and aggressively do exactly what they do?
There is no doubt police priorities are horrifyingly askew. But ministers can change the law, impose harsher punishments and end this plague of looting.
Why don’t they?
Wind of change
IT has been staggering to see the Government over the last decade ban both fracking AND onshore wind.
No to shale gas. No to new renewables on land too. A double dose of self-harm.
So if Rishi Sunak is about to U-turn on wind turbines under pressure from backbench rebels we welcome it.
The Tories have run scared of Nimby voters for too long — on both housing and energy. The problem is they will still have an effective veto.
New planning rules will only allow councils to approve turbines if they win broad local support. And Nimbys, by definition, love to say No.
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The answer? Bribe them, with cheap or even free electricity.
Even they might be unable to resist that.