Can you assault a thief? Police give explanation

September 25, 2023 at 10:05 AM

Sri Lanka Police say staff of retail stores and supermarkets do not have the right to assault suspects of theft.

Police Spokesman SSP Nihal Thalduwa requested the staff of retail stores and supermarkets to hand over such suspects to the nearest Police station.

He stated that the staff cannot assault suspects of theft, while the police are there to investigate the theft of goods.

Pointing out that people cannot take the law into their own hands, SSP Thalduwa requested Managers of supermarkets to brief their staff in this regard. 

The Police Spokesman’s remarks come after video footage of staff of a prominent supermarket chain in Cotta Road, Borella assaulting a woman for having stolen goods was recently circulated on social media platforms.

Addressing the incident, SSP Nihal Thalduwa said that actions of the supermarket staff were unacceptable. 

In the event of a theft at the supermarket, he stated assault is not the solution, advising supermarket staff to inform their outlet security officials and apprehend the suspect, and thereafter handover him/her to the Police.

SSP Thalduwa said the female assaulted by the supermarket staff in Borella is a 25-year-old resident of Hanwella and is reportedly severely addicted to drugs.

He added that the suspect had stolen goods at the supermarket to purchase drugs and that there were several cases against her for having stolen goods at various places.

Meanwhile, at least seven staff of the said supermarket have been apprehended, while the retail supermarket chain has launched an investigation into the incident. (NewsWire)