Across Canada, people accused of petty crimes like shoplifting, minor assault and fraud are walking free — because the justice system doesn’t have time to deal with their cases, as it struggles to move more serious crimes through the courts.
“It’s really concerning for retailers, retailers of all sizes,” said Jim Cormier the council’s Atlantic director. “The deterrent for theft and shoplifting in stores is, of course, often that there can be legal consequences.”
Last year, the retail council estimated that shoplifting accounts for up to $5 billion a year in losses for Canadian retailers. Cormier said shoplifting has an awful impact on retailers, and if it happens enough, it will cut into a company’s profits.
“Less profits means less ability to hire and pay staff. You know it means less tax revenue for the cities and towns in which these retailers are doing their business,” said Cormier.