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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70636
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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i have been caught giving a friend discount in a subway store.

Customer Question

i have been caught giving a friend discount in a subway store. on getting caught my boss said that i could quit and that would be it, or i could go through the procedure and possibly get dismissed. i quit thinking that would be the end of it however today i received a phone call saying that if i didnt meet with him and the owner they would call the police! i went obviously and they told me that if i paid £300 that they would not call the police, the sum was intended to cover the loss to profits and their time dealing with the matter...however i quit previous to this so concluded that there was no time to be spent on the matter. they also said that if i pay this that there is a possibility that they may call the police anyway as a deterrent to other staff members who do/might do the saame thing. what do i do? is this a criminal matter that could end up with me getting a criminal record, and could this not be classed as extortion as i am worried about the police getting involved and therefore am willing to pay the money, so they are taking advantage. any help would be great
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
HI.

Thank you for your question . My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

In order to give you an answer tailored to your circumstances, I will just need to ask you some preliminary questions so that I can consider your position from all angles.

Do you accept that the profit loss is around £300?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

FOR JOMO1972


no the sum was nowhere near £300, it was around £5 in total. they said that the compensation for their time was the remainder. i have given a couple of my friends a £5 sandwich for £3 a couple of times now but we have never been told anything about not being allowed to do this.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.



Thanks for the information.

Its really a matter of your appetite for risk. If they made a report to the police then the police would act. Even though the amounts are very low, this is theft from employer which is a hugely aggravated version of the offence because of the breach of trust.

Because this is a very low sum, the police might offer a police caution. That is not a criminal record but it is a caution and it will show on your standard and enhanced CRB check.

Obviously they may not make a report. Sometimes people do threaten to make reports and then fail to do so.

If they sued you in the civil courts then they would not get more than the sum of their loss so its safe from that point of view to refuse this sum.

That said, even if you do pay, they could still call the police and they would still act. Obviously they are less likely to do that if you pay but it cannot be ruled out.

I think it really depends whats important to you here. If avoiding a criminal record or caution is the thing for you then paying would be a sensible thing to do. It isn’t sure fire protection but its better than not paying.

If not being asked to pay more than you owe is your goal then refuse to pay and invite them to sue.

In relation to their conduct, the fact that they are trying to levy a fine upon you effectively is not lawful but the police are not likely to refuse to act for that reason. Complainants behave badly all the time I'm afraid.

I'm sorry this isn't the answer you wanted but it is the position that you face and I have a duty to inform you truthfully.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.
Jo C. and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

FOR JOMO1972


thanks alot for the answer. it sort of verifys what i thought all along. is there anyway that if i pay them what theyve asked for then they won't inform the police? as i have recently applied for a visa to go work in australia and this would probably be out the window with a caution on my record!

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
You cannot do that I'm afraid.

At least, you can negotiate it with them but they might not offer that guarantee.

Its a risk for certain but probably, overall, if your record is the important thing here then its the safest action.