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Moral Question
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brian


Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #1
11-06-2008 05:24 PM

I was having a coffee in the coffee shop end of The Capitol on Monday morning.
A gentlemen entered when the coffee shop was unstaffed. He took 2 packets of crisps and walked out.
I was surprised at the reaction of the other people there. They seemed to think it was the pubs fault for having no one at that momemt staffing the front. No one seemed to think that stealing was wrong whether anyone there or not.
To be honest I was amazed , not that a thief stole the items but of the reaction of others. Am I alone in this

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Londondrz


Posts: 1,538
Joined: Apr 2006
Post: #2
11-06-2008 05:38 PM

What did you do?

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Snazy


Posts: 1,504
Joined: Jan 2008
Post: #3
11-06-2008 05:41 PM

I guess some would first question your own actions and what you did about it, whilst commenting on others.

I guess the society we live in today, most would rather offer support to the one leading the rebelion against the "criminal" rather than starting and leading such a move.

You tend to find that once someone has said/done something, others will follow, but no one wants to be the one to make the first move.

The other side of it is, some blatent crimes are successful where people believe the person commiting them is actually acting within given authority.

One story some one at work tells from his days as a security guard, is of 2 men and a van. Simply pulling up to a stores back door, insisting they are there to collect a sofa, walking in, and taking it.

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brian


Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #4
11-06-2008 07:04 PM

I was not expecting anyone to arrest him I was just surprised at their attitude.
To be honest he was out of the door before I and others fully appreciated what he had done. I was actually up the stairs so would have taken me some time to go after him.
My comment was purely that the other customers seemed to think it was open house to steal if no one staffing the coffee shop.

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nevermodern


Posts: 653
Joined: Feb 2007
Post: #5
11-06-2008 07:29 PM

I think it is a lot to do with what Snazy says about people believing someone is authorised to do something. You just kind of assume if people are blatantly doing something with confidence, then they have the authority to do it. You really can get away with a hideous amount of things with a bit of chutzpah.

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Sherwood


Posts: 1,360
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #6
11-06-2008 09:22 PM

You can only make a citizen's arrest if an arrestable offence has actually been committed. A police officer may make an arrest merely on suspicion.
Suppose the "thief" had an informal arrangement that he could pop in and take crisps and pay for them later, he would not be stealing. If a citizen arrested this person he could be sued for false arrest. A police officer could not.
Bearing this in mind, I probably would take no action.

I actually had such an arrangement with an antique dealer. He left some statues outside his shop for me to collect. I did so under the gaze of a police officer, who did not even come over to talk to me. But he did note the registration number of my car.

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PVP


Posts: 271
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #7
12-06-2008 09:36 AM

I saw a similar thing in Greggs in Lewisham a while back; 2 teenagers picked up some sandwiches, drinks, etc, then just walked out the back the shop. A few tuts, that was it. Everyone just carries on.

I understand the reluctance to have a go (i.e. self-preservation).

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Triangle


Posts: 133
Joined: May 2007
Post: #8
12-06-2008 10:32 AM

Could it be that this was an off duty member of staff?

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brian


Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #9
12-06-2008 11:21 AM

I think people are missing the point
I am not saying anyone should have approached the criminal.

I am saying I was surprised at the reaction of my fellow coffee drinkers who all seemed to codone it as OK as the companies fault for not personing the coffee shop at that time.

To me theft is criminal but others do not feel the same

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Londondrz


Posts: 1,538
Joined: Apr 2006
Post: #10
12-06-2008 11:25 AM

I think part of the problem is that low level crime is very rarely punished and as a result we possibly dont see it as an issue. I think if the person had have come in, threatened a member of staff then people may well have acted. I also think that the brazen nature of the theft may well have had people thinking "maybe it is a member of staff"???

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Cellar Door


Posts: 356
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #11
12-06-2008 03:16 PM

brian Wrote:
...my fellow coffee drinkers who all seemed to codone it as OK...


brian Wrote:
...that the other customers seemed to think ...


brian Wrote:
No one seemed to think that stealing was wrong...


In your posts I don't get a sense that you actually spoke to the others. Did you? Is that how you discerned that they condoned this?

Or are your conclusions based on nobody else giving chase?

If that is the case then you've found your way out of the moral maze with your post...

brian Wrote:
...he was out of the door before I and others fully appreciated what he had done.

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brian


Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #12
12-06-2008 04:02 PM

Yes we did all speak . Their attitude was that it was the fault of the pub for not personing the coffee shop

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Triangle


Posts: 133
Joined: May 2007
Post: #13
12-06-2008 04:23 PM

Theft IS criminal, but (sadly perhaps) I think it now has to be seen as relative. Even if the guy had shouted out "I'm knicking these crisps" I wouldn't have chased after him. What? risk getting stabbed for a couple of bags of crisps? No way.

If however, I saw someone stealing posessions from an elderly person then I'd probably give chase.

When shopping, my pensioner mother uses a trolley. It also provides her with additional walking support. On two occasions now, while shopping in supermarkets, unknown individuals have slipped their grubby little hands under the trolley cover and helped themselves to cash and cards from her handbag.

Quite frankly, If I'd seen them doing it, not only would I have chased them, but if I'd caught them then I would probably have ended up being arrested for GBH.

However, she recently returned home from the shops and asked me to remove something from her handbag. I assumed she meant the one that she keeps on top of the shopping in her trolley... Imagine my shock and surprise as I plunged my hand into a bag full of the most prickly holly!!! Nice one mum...

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brian


Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #14
12-06-2008 04:46 PM

Good on your Mum.
Cannot believe the criminal fraternity pray on old people . This is an absolute disgrace.

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Sherwood


Posts: 1,360
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #15
12-06-2008 04:51 PM

A mousetrap would keep her handbag free of mice!

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Baboonery


Posts: 581
Joined: Sep 2007
Post: #16
12-06-2008 10:43 PM

Yes, Brian, stealing is a bad thing.

What else do you want people to say?

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gingernuts


Posts: 505
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #17
27-06-2008 01:11 PM

Insurance companies will not pay out if you leave your front door and all windows open, go for a walk, come back and find someone has popped in and taken all your valuables. You will be told that it's your fault you got robbed. So why the surprise by peoples attitude to an unattended coffee shop?

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Sherwood


Posts: 1,360
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #18
27-06-2008 09:36 PM

Insurance companies make that rule in order to have evidence that a burglary has taken place.

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thenutfield


Posts: 235
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #19
03-07-2008 01:24 PM

....and Capitol were asking for it by leaving the counter unattended. What did they expect? They were lucky to have got away with just losing 2 bags of crisps.
Theft is wrong, but it happens. Leaving your goods unattended is stupid - maybe the person would have been happy to pay, if the staff had been doing thier job properly.

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JaneD


Posts: 29
Joined: Jun 2008
Post: #20
09-07-2008 05:34 AM

I'd say that Capital were being careless leaving their counter unattended considering that there are some opportunist criminals around. But if this was theft, it was still a criminal act (although a very minor one) - it doesn't mean that Capital share the responsibility for the crime.

The same with much more serious cases such as assaults on very intoxicated women in the streets. The attacker is completely morally responsible, and the victim is not to blame for the crime, but it still isn't sensible to be out on the streets alone and incapacitated in places where there is known to be violence. I think the two things sometimes get mixed up (criminal activity and a reasonable degree of self-care) and they really aren't the same.

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