Luke Carroll has racked up more than 50 convictions, chiefly for shoplifting, since 2005. Now, police have obtained a two-year anti-social behaviour order (Asbo) barring him from the areas he has targeted.Well, hurrah! But I wonder how many convictions he would have had, if shops weren’t routinely given the runaround by the justice system?
Officers are distributing posters outlining the terms of the order – which also bars him from St George's Retail Park on the outskirts of the city centre. If he does breach the order, Carroll (28), who lives on the Saffron Lane estate, will be arrested and possibly jailed for contempt of court.Or possibly let off again.
Shopkeepers welcomed the police's decision to seek the order. One said: "He's an absolute nuisance and he's so brazen about his thieving.
"To give him his due, he's not at all aggressive like some of the other regulars, but the fact remains he has taken, or tried to take, a lot of stock from us over the years."And there’s nothing to stop him simply going elsewhere, to take a lot of stock off someone else, is there?
Sergeant Nicola Preston, of city centre police, said: "He's brazen – he walks into shops, hangs around and walks out with goods under his coat."
"We have had to go to this level now because we have a duty to protect the community, particularly retailers, from his constant shoplifting," she said.
"It won't solve all the retailers' problems because clearly there are other shoplifters, but we are looking at taking similar action against other prolific offenders."Why not just build more prisons, and make sure that the sentence for shoplifting is so severe, they don’t get a chance to rack up so many convictions?