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Western Australia has implemented new penalties for criminals targeting retailers. | Source: Adobe Stock
Western Australia has implemented new penalties for criminals targeting retailers. | Source: Adobe Stock

Peace of mind: Western Australian retailers benefit from new legal protection

Western Australia has implemented new penalties for criminals targeting retailers.

The laws were first proposed in February. A new ‘assault retail workers’ offence will see criminals who attack retail staff facing up to seven years in prison or three years and a fine of $36,000.

If an offender is armed or in the company of others, the penalty rises to 10 years imprisonment.

“These tougher penalties send a strong message that violent behaviour towards staff simply doing their job won’t be tolerated," said WA Police Minister Paul Papalia.

“WA Police do an incredible job tracking down shoplifters and holding them to account, but some serial offenders don’t get the message. Under these new laws, if shoplifters continue to disregard the law, they will go to prison.”

Over the past 12 months, several brazen criminal acts targeting jewellery stores in WA have made national headlines.

These include the daring daylight robbery of a Subiaco diamond jewellery store, a ramraid targeting a Prouds store in Kalgoorlie, and the robbery of more than 30 watches valued at $8,000 by two teenage boys in Bunbury.

Australian Retailers Association CEO Paul Zahra said retail employees deserve peace of mind.

“All retail workers, whether they’re a casual in their first job or doing the night shift at the local convenience store, have a right to feel safe at work,” he said.

“No one deserves to be spat on, threatened with weapons, intimidated or harassed for simply doing their job. People who engage in these types of behaviours are committing a crime – it’s as simple as that.”

Under these new laws, repeat offenders charged with multiple low-level stealing offences also face potential jail time.

The WA government has removed the ‘fine only’ penalty for those convicted of stealing or attempted stealing when they have two or more prior convictions for similar crimes in the past year.

Serial thieves will instead face a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment and a $24,000 fine.

More reading
Peace of mind: Jewellery insurance under the microscope
Luxury retailer raided by thieves twice in six months
New money laundering laws: What do jewellers need to know?
Jewellery businesses targeted by criminals at historically high rate
Jewellery store raided by thieves twice in less than two weeks
One year later: Arrests made over Canadian gold robbery

 











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