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Arrested and charged for taking food out of bins. Great job CPS…

Sometimes I shake my head. Sometimes I tut. Sometimes I roll my eyes and sometimes I do all there. Then though there are times when I am just well and truly flat-out disgusted and dismayed. A story in my mother’s hometown caught my eye and made me feel this way. Woman charged with theft for taking food Tesco threw out.

So a woman got arrested, charged and faces court and a criminal record for taking food out of a bin. Is this the world we live in? Who endorsed this stupid law? What pathetic cop decided that it was worth his or her time (maybe I’m being harsh on the bobby) but my wrath for the CPS knows no bounds. At what point is this ‘in the public interest?’ I’ll answer that. It isn’t. No-one with any form of brain cell gives a stuff about if someone takes food out of a bin. No-one. So is it worth putting a citizen through the court system at the cost of the tax payer? Not on your nelly.

So there is a crime ‘theft by finding’ and doing some research on it there have been cases where people have been arrested by police when handing in things that they have found. Seriously. So if you find something it is safer to leave it than to be a good citizen and hand it in. Bet this isn’t the ‘Big Society’ that David Cameron wants.

Back to this case. I’m pretty sure the moment a company or a person puts something in a bin then they have waived their claim to whatever they have thrown away. Therefore the thing thrown away has no owner and therefore cannot be theft. Maybe I’m just being thick but this doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. I know companies do dump food out and believe that their bins are part of their property. This is where I contest the law as that’s bull. I think trespass laws are even more apt than theft laws. I don’t know the lay of the land of this supermarket and whether the accused had to go on to property to get the food or not and that is the only caveat. If she didn’t have to go on to Tesco property then what is wrong with it?

Whatever the case though is this really in the public interest? Of course it isn’t. Another good solid job by the CPS…

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  1. Liam Liam

    Under statute law, she was committing trespass the moment she walked onto the supermarket’s property, with the intention of taking the food. Taking the food constituted a theft, because, being in bins owned (presumably) by the disposal company, it was owned by someone. In the chain between a person or company throwing rubbish out in a bin, to the time it ends up in landfill (on private property), there is no break where that rubbish is not technically owned by someone.

    Despite all of this, for someone to be prosecuted for taking what someone else doesn’t want is absolutely twisted, on several counts. Firstly, absolutely no-one is harmed by the “crime”. Secondly, less material ends up in landfill, assuming the lady recycles the packaging that can be recycled. Thirdly, the huge amounts of energy involved in growing the raw materials, producing the food, shipping/air-freighting it, then packaging it, and possibly the social costs of labour exploitation in countries with lower welfare and pay standards than our own, have all amounted to /something/, rather than having been in vain.

    A crime under UK Statute Law? Yes. But UK Statute Law is, in many ways, a load of rubbish.

    • This is pretty much what I think. Technically if the bins are on the property then it’s a crime but is it really worth the time and expense that the CPS thinks it is? That is where my annoyance lies. Is taking this further really in the public interest? I seriously doubt it.

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