March 08, 2005

Shop-Lifting and Other Crimes

It is a crime to shop-lift and it costs companies millions of dollars a year.

It is a crime to purchase alcohol as a minor and fines apply of thousands of dollars to both parties in the transaction.

When I go to the Warehouse, Large Signs inform me that my handbag, pushchair and person may be required to be opened for search at any time. I have never been asked to stop by security though. If they did, they would be accusing me of shop-lifting, basically. And I would be offended.

When I go to Countdown, Large Signs inform me that it is a crime to purchase alcohol as a minor and I may be required to show proof of age. I get ID'd about 70% of the time. And I find it offensive. They are accusing me of committing a crime.

I do not appreciate being informed by a Large Disembodied Voice to please, take it as a compliment! either. Fuck you! I am not a criminal (well, I don't shop-lift or buy alcohol under-age, let's put it like that) and I damn well will not take it as a compliment when you treat me like one!

Posted by phreq at March 8, 2005 08:35 AM | TrackBack

The reasoning that it is a compliment is the suggestion that you look youthful. For age tarnishes beauty.

Posted by: Vincent at March 8, 2005 03:41 PM

the thing is, most ppl don't think of it as a 'crime' to attempt to buy alcohol underage, whereas there's a nasty fine awaiting anyone who sells it to a minor. i think the line i occassionally used when ppl got shitty with me id-ing them for cigarettes was that neither their $10 purchase, nor their custom, was worth the $2K fine i'd have to pay if i was wrong. that's not quite as PR-friendly as 'take it as a compliment' tho, i guess! :)

Posted by: Zephfi at March 8, 2005 04:33 PM

I still find it offensive. A minor purchasing alcohol does face fines of several thousand dollars as well as the vendor.

And. If they say "No ID, No Sale" fine and good. But I want them to ID EVERYONE who purchases alcohol. I don't care if your hair is grey and your face looks like a balloon left over from New Year. No ID, No Sale, Grandma.

Posted by: phreq at March 10, 2005 05:10 PM

if you think about it, a lot of stuff in society is innocent until proven guilty. e.g. cops at check points making sure you have a valid driver's license, money cards have security pins or signatures that need to match to use the card, stores have security cameras and tags. the sad truth is that a minority of ppl who do commit crimes like credit card fraud or underage purchasing or disqualified driving ruin the whole 'trust' thing for everyone else. so a company like a supermarket is going to have to risk offending some of it's customers, because not doing so could see them stripped of their liquor license or fined etc. and i know from working at deka, that trying to guess someone's age between 16-25 is not an easy thing. there's some v young looking 25 yr olds, and some ancient looking teenagers out there. i id'd a sunglass wearing 30 yr old for ciggies once. she was ecstatic about it actually! i think she was feeling a bit over the hill prior to that!

Posted by: Zephfi at March 10, 2005 05:59 PM

Yep, but I think it's also rather similar to the ill-fated 25+ stickers on people's cars. Basically, the police in Chch started a system whereby you could put a sticker on your car if no-one under 25 was going to drive it. The theory went that it meant the fuzz could pull you over if you looked younger than 25 and were driving the car.

It got shelved very quickly. Why? Because it was considered to be too close to the "Driving While Black" syndrome in the States. Why should I be pulled over just because the Police think I'm under 25 years old?

Why should they ID young people who look over 18? I find it deeply offensive to be accused of a crime by a supermarket checkout operator. Either they ID EVERYONE, no exceptions, or they accept that it is deeply offensive to be considered a criminal and expected to prove your innocence.

The Police are not allowed to stop and search you without reasonable cause - even *if* they find something, the search is illegal without the due cause. Why is some bloody checkout operator allowed to stop and search me without due cause?

Posted by: phreq at March 10, 2005 06:15 PM
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