Student guide to shoplifting draws criticism from retail group

A guide on the “art of shoplifting” printed by students at Queen Mary, University of London has drawn criticism from retailers.

In the first issue of “The Paper”, published last month, students at the university included a how-to guide on shoplifting.

It includes tips such as trying to find surveillance cameras, looking for blind spots and putting more than one garment on a hanger before going to the changing rooms.

The article originally appeared in an Australian student newspaper in 1995 and led to the paper’s four editors being prosecuted, “as a result of a blatant abuse of political power” according to the Queen Mary paper’s editorial staff.

The editor of the Queen Mary paper, Bue Rabner Hansen, has reportedly defended the article as a “satirical piece” but it has been branded “grossly irresponsible” and as “potentially illegal” by Richard Dodd, a spokesman for the British Retail Consortium.

He said: “Retail crime is no joke.

“There is a human cost for staff who are abused or attacked when they try to intervene and there is a financial cost for honest people who end up paying extra as a result.

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“It is a serious concern for retailers and sending a message that it is acceptable and offering practical advice is very irresponsible.”

It is believed that 9000 copies of the 12-page student paper were published and first distributed at an anti-fees and cuts demonstration in central London which was attended by Queen Mary students and pupils from Morpeth school on January 29.

The paper is funded by the university’s Centre for Ethics and Politics.

No members of the editorial staff or from the university’s press office were available to comment to the East London Advertiser today.