Shop displays pictures of its 'most unwanted'

02 November, 2007

An off-licence plagued by drug-taking shoplifters is displaying CCTV images of unwelcome customers in its front window.

The Hop Inn, a chain of four off-licences in Reading, has experienced a wave of problems at its branch near the town's university but says the pictures are acting as a deterrent for troublemakers.

Owner Brian McEntee said: "We get a lot of drug addicts in there, and we've got a serious problem because outside there's a phone box where the druggies make the call and someone comes along and delivers the goods.

"Because they need their fix, they walk in and try to steal Champagne or whatever it might be. What we've done is put pictures up of people who are not welcome. It's quite good because we don't see them again.

"One woman did have a bit of a rant and demanded we took her picture down, but we didn't. We're not actually saying they're stealing, just that they're not welcome in the shop. We've got every right."

McEntee said police "really aren't in the least bit interested" in dealing with shoplifters. He added: "You do sometimes feel like giving up, quite frankly - it's soul destroying."




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