Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Civil Debt Recovery Scheme

A sign in Tesco reads "We participate in a Civil Debt Recovery scheme".  What does it mean?

Well in short it is a euphemism for a semi-legal mafia style blackmailing scheme.  The justification is that the law doesn't protect retailers from petty theft and so they have decided to take the law into their own hands and issue threatening letters to any individual who they suspect has stolen from them or intended to steal from them.  These threatening letters do not follow due process of law and intimidate and frighten people into paying them large sums of money to avoid prosecution.

It is an appalling decomposition of the law by otherwise respectable British Companies like Tesco, Shell, Boots, Debenhams and other well known names.  The Citizen's Advice Bureau have written an extensive report on the issue and there has NEVER been one case successfully pursued through the courts.  Although their actions are literally legal there is no doubt this is underhand and against the spirit of the law.

If you have received one of these letters DO NOT pay the blood money.  Seek help, go to your local CAB, go to the police, get a solicitor but do not pay the mafia the money.

See more on this subject at Civil Debt Recovery Scheme page.


  1. Having experienced similar situations in the past may I recommend your own legal website to deal with the situation:

    It's a simple matter to "remind" these people what the laws really are. A certified letter may be in order but I'd doubt if they'd take it beyond the threatening stage. They are figuring that enough individuals will simply pay and add to their bottom line.

  2. Thanks for that Demeur - I have added a link to British Law to the page.

  3. I pinched a Mars Bar from my local shop when I was 11 years old. Oh eck! I'm for it now!