Customers are being asked to leave a thumbprint when trading in second-hand goods for cash in order to stop criminals making money out of stolen items.Because some of you are criminals, we’ll treat all of you as potential criminals.
You won’t object to that, right? After all, where else can you go? You need the money…
A number of second-hand stores in Norwich have agreed to take part in the scheme, launched by local police.I can only imagine the pressure they put on them to agree.
A police spokeswoman said the prints would help detectives trace sellers if goods turned out to be stolen.Doesn’t this breach data protection laws? Do they cover voluntarily-surrendered fingerprints?
She said prints would be kept in shops, not on any central database - and police investigating other crimes would be able to examine them.
Inspector Lisa Hooper said the idea was to deter thieves from trying to sell stolen property in second-hand shops.‘Nothing to hide, nothing to fear…’
'The scheme will deter criminals from even trying to sell property to the shops who have signed up to the scheme, it will not affect law-abiding customers so they need not (have) fear of their thumbprint being obtained,' said Inspector Hooper.
'It is purely to put a stop to the flow of stolen goods in the city and in the second-hand shops who are the ones who feel the financial cost if stolen items are recovered by police, even though they genuinely bought the items from the customer.If the shops are feeling the financial burden, then that's wrong - it should fall on the person who sold them the stolen goods. If a change to the law is needed for that, then so be it. But treating all your customers as potential thieves, and holding their data for the poolice to go on a random fishing expedition whenever they feel like is, most certainly is not the way forward.
'We hope that customers will support the scheme and voluntarily allow their thumbprint to be taken.'
Still, at least this time they are giving us a choice.
It seems that their plans to make giving your fingerprints seem normal ran into unexpected choppy water when they tried it with kids. So they’ve turned to another despised group – poor people looking to get a few pennies from selling possessions.
Today, the poor. Tomorrow...you?