Free Legal Answers surpasses the 10,000-client mark

first_imgFree Legal Answers surpasses the 10,000-client mark Nov 06, 2020 By Jim Ash Senior Editor Top Stories Florida’s online legal clinic, Free Legal Answers, has reached another milestone.According to the latest monthly report, Free Legal Answers surpassed the 10,000-client mark in October, serving 10,017 low and no-income Florida residents since it went live in May 2017.The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t stopped volunteer attorneys from maintaining a 93% answer rate, even as it spurs more requests for help, said Francisco-Javier Digon-Greer, the Bar’s assistant director of programs.“We did have an increase in questions asked, 483 last month, and we had 524 questions asked in October,” he said. “We finally broke the 500 mark. Our next goal is to break the 600 mark.”Between March 1 and October 31, the program served nearly 3,000 clients, according to the report. During the same period, the program logged 3,487 questions and lawyers answered 3,323 of them, for a 95% answer rate, the report shows.The most frequently asked questions involve family law and landlord tenant matters.By the end of this year, when a federal ban on evictions expires, Digon-Greer expects Free Legal Answers and other legal clinics to be swamped with requests for help.“I anticipate for November we will have another 400 plus questions asked,” Digon-Greer said. “Based on this data, I truly anticipate that legal aid and other not-for-profit legal resources will be overwhelmed in the coming months.”Long before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the courts to switch to mostly remote proceedings, Free Legal Answers was showing Florida lawyers the benefits of digital practice.The program allows lawyers to answer questions anonymously any time of day or night, while earning credit toward their pro bono reporting requirements. Lawyers get to choose questions from various categories, and they learn just enough information about the client to avoid conflicts of interest.Clients are limited to questions about civil matters, must meet income restrictions, and must not be incarcerated. The current income restriction is 400% of the federal poverty rate, or $51,000 for an individual or $104,000 for a family of four.Over the life of the program, only a handful of clients have misrepresented their income, Digon-Greer said.last_img read more

Norway latest to threaten Huawei 5G ban

first_img Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >> Read more Previous ArticleIBM launches weather service despite tracking stormNext ArticleAT&T mobile chief shrugs off 5G marketing fuss Telkomsel turns on 5G in major cities Norway joined other western nations in expressing concerns about Chinese vendor Huawei, as the government reportedly considers banning the company from participating in its 5G infrastructure deployment.Speaking to Reuters, Norway’s justice minister Tor Mikkel Wara said the country shared “the same concerns as the US and Britain and that is espionage and state actors in Norway”.“This question is high priority…we want to have this in place before we build the next round of the telecom network.”Huawei faced intense scrutiny from a number of nations throughout 2018, with concerns centred around whether its equipment could pose a threat to national security.The vendor has already been banned from supplying equipment for future 5G builds in the US, Australia and New Zealand, while operators in Japan also said they would avoid the Chinese vendor.In Europe, Germany has suggested it could follow suit, while UK’s BT is planning to remove all Huawei equipment from mobile operator EE’s core 4G network within two years.When asked if it could implement its own ban on Huawei, Wara said Norway was “considering the steps taken in other countries. That is a part of it – the steps taken in the US and Britain”.Huawei currently plays a big role in Norway, with both Telenor and Telia using the company’s 4G equipment and also running tests on 5G with the vendor.Reuters said Telenor signed its first major contract with Huawei in 2009, paving the way for the Chinese company’s global expansion.Responding to Wara’s comments, Tore Orderloekken, cyber security officer at Huawei Norway maintained its equipment was secure.“Our customers in Norway have strong security requirements of us and they manage the risk in their operations in a good way.” Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back Mobile Mix: Buzzing for Barcelona AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to MoreAddThisMore 09 JAN 2019 Home Norway latest to threaten Huawei 5G ban Authorcenter_img Related FCC mulls expanded Huawei, ZTE bans Kavit Majithia Asia Tags 5GHuaweiNorwayTelenorTelialast_img read more

Clearing hurdles – Riley points to continued excellence by J’can youngsters in obstacle event

first_imgFor the third year in a row, the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships’ Class Two 100-metre hurdles record has fallen. On Saturday, March 30, Ackera Nugent of Excelsior High School advanced the standard to 12.91 seconds. Her victory and high levels of participation in hurdling events has Excelsior head coach David Riley seeing bright days ahead. “You can’t bank on hurdles, but when your top hurdler comes through, it’s great, and we continue to develop in that area”, Riley reviewed after Nugent had sped home in 12.91 seconds to rewrite the mark set last year by Ray-Donna Lee of Hydel High at 12.95. “We do have the technical expertise, and it’s good that a lot more coaches are coaching the event and more athletes are being exposed,” he said of his Excelsior coaching staff and of Jamaica in general. The victory marked a remarkable rise for Nugent, who had not won at Champs before. Confident after gaining a silver medal at last year’s Youth Olympics, Nugent had set a world Under-18 best of 12.87 seconds earlier this season. Before Saturday, her best Champs result was silver in the 2017 Class Three 800-metre hurdles behind St Jago’s Crystal Morrison. Morrison was second to the Douglas Williams-coached Nugent in Saturday’s record race. PARTICIPATION SURGE Reminded that Brittany Anderson, then of Vere Technical High School, set the record at 13.04 seconds in 2017, Riley agreed that the movement means Jamaica is on the move in the sprint hurdles. “Yes, and most of these kids don’t have a full flight of hurdles to train with, you know, so hurdle endurance is not something that they practise a lot and so it’s all positive, all positive stuff.” Riley pinpointed a surge in participation in hurdles by the boys. “That just speaks to the number of persons that are participating and once you have numbers, you must have somebody rising to the top.” The continued surge saw Vashaun Vascianna of St Jago High School lowering his own Class Two 110-metre hurdles record to 13.26 seconds, and Wayne Pinnock of Kingston College clipping the Class One record down to 13.06 seconds. In addition, all seven of the Boys and Girls’ Championships sprint-hurdling records were broken in 2017. Each of the records for boys were shifted in 2018, with Pinnock’s fine performance advancing the Class One record for the third time in a row, as Calabar’s Dejour Russell had moved the record to 13.21 in 2017 and 13.10 seconds in 2018.last_img read more

Football: Swede International who gave away late free-kick against Germany suffers racial abuse

first_imgAdvertisement 432NBA Finals | Brooklyn Vs4kkw5Wingsuit rodeo📽Sindre Ez5kjg( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) 7k7uWould you ever consider trying this?😱jot13Can your students do this? 🌚7y6uvyRoller skating! Powered by Firework Swede International, Jimmy Durmaz says the racist abuse he got on social media following his foul on Timo Werner which led to Sweden conceding the free-kick and Kroos scoring the goal, has been ‘completely unacceptable’Advertisement Advertisement Durmaz has since been subjected to online abuse, including threats to his family. He and his fellow teammates took a strong stand against racism after the Swedish FA complained to police about a storm of racial hatred and threats aimed at the winger.He went on to say,Advertisement “When you threaten me, when you call me ‘Arab devil,’ ‘terrorist,’ ‘Taliban,’ then you have gone far beyond the limit,” Durmaz said in the statement, which was published on the Swedish Football Association’s website.“And even worse, when you go after my family, my children, threaten them. Who does such a thing? It is completely unacceptable.”The video link to the statement is given below:-The statement concluded with the entire squad shouting ‘F*** racism!’ before applauding and jogging out to begin their workout.Read Also:-FIFA World Cup 2018: Stats of the Day – Day 12FIFA World Cup 2018: Iago Aspas with a late goal as Spain hold Morocco to a 2-2 draw Advertisementlast_img read more

GUI exclusive endorsement for BookGolf365

first_imgThe Golfing Union of Ireland is endorsing the exciting new tee time booking management system developed by BookGolf365 Limited.The Golfing Union of Ireland today announced its exclusive endorsement of a new innovative tee time booking management system for golf clubs developed by BookGolf365, which will be branded Golfnet in Ireland. Inspired by the ideas of company founder and European Tour winner Peter Lawrie, the system has been designed by golf industry professionals to best serve golfers, their Clubs and golf in Ireland.In reaching its decision Pat Finn, CEO of the GUI said: “The Golfing Union of Ireland recognised that action was needed to provide an alternative to the existing barter system and develop an alternative tee time booking management system. Working with BookGolf365 has enabled us to offer something that’s very valuable for our clubs. Tee time booking software is now an essential part of the day-to-day running of every club. BookGolf365 is an excellent product. It is sophisticated and yet simple to use. We would encourage all member Clubs to investigate this new software”The Union entered discussions with BookGolf365 in 2016 amid concerns among member clubs about bartering green fees in return for tee time booking software. By addressing this issue the software will be mutually beneficial to clubs, golfers and the game of golf itself.The arrival of BookGolf365 into the market now provides clubs with a clear alternative to the barter model of trading rounds (green fees) in return for use of tee time booking software. Working in consultation with the GUI and its member clubs, BookGolf365 has developed a product that meets the demands of all stakeholders in golf, allows Clubs to maximise their green fee revenue and take back control of their green fee pricing.Key features of BookGolf365 include:Enhanced back office reports for Club Managers and officialsEasy to use booking process for MembersFree Mobile Apps for IOS and Android Smart PhonesFree Push Messaging and Email ServiceNo More Barter roundsDynamic Pricing moduleData Analytics powered by IBM Watson TechnologyPeter Lawrie said: “I am delighted that the GUI has given such a strong endorsement to BookGolf365. The team at BookGolf365 have already enabled a number of Clubs to “go live” with our software and are looking forward to working closely with more golf clubs in Ireland. The feedback from our existing customers has been very encouraging and we are excited to be in a position to support and give back to Irish golf.”If your club would like to find out more about the BookGolf365 tee time booking engine, log on to, email at [email protected] or call on 01 9685685.print WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Emaillast_img read more

Flogas Irish Amateur Open First Round Scores

first_imgRound one scores (complete)Flogas Irish Amateur OpenRoyal County Down at the Flogas AM-AM ahead of the Flogas Irish Amateur Open in Royal Co Down golf club, Newcastle Co. Down Ireland. 15/05/2018.Picture: Golffile | Fran CaffreyAll photo usage must carry mandatory copyright credit (© Golffile | Fran Caffrey) print WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Emailcenter_img 65 R Dawson (Tramore)68 A Fitzpatrick (England); A Gleeson  (Castle)69 J Skov Olesen (Denmark); M Saulez (South Africa); D Hague (England); M Jordan (England); D Rauch (Germany); R Cannon (Balbriggan); K Reitan (Norway); A Wilson (England)70 G Collins (Rosslare); J Hapgood (Wales); B Gill (England); S Watts (Cairndhu); C Thornton (England); N Bachem (Germany)71 P O’Keeffe (Douglas); C Woollam (South Africa); R Mullarney (Galway); G Bloor (England); A Hill (Athenry); J Fox (Portmarnock); J Gough (England); T Nel (South Africa); G Chevalier (France); J Wilson (Scotland); D Langley (England); P Brennan (Belvoir Park); P Melching (Netherlands)72 L Sanges (Wales); E Walker (Scotland); L Shepherd (England); M Hammer (Germany); C Barrow (Scotland); C Strickland (England); E McIntosh (Scotland); M Mitchell  (South Africa); J Sugrue (Mallow)73 C Mansfield (South Africa); T Carter (England); J Brady (Rosslare); T Vaillant (France); Q Debove (France); J Cope (England); R Williams   (England); R Brazill (Naas); J Yates (Naas); J Mc Donnell (Forrest Little); N Poppleton (England); D Brophy (Castleknock); B Hutchinson (England); F Hanisch (Germany); C Denvir (Elm Park); B Chamberlain (Wales); J Schaper (South Africa); J Pierse (Portmarnock)74 C Lamprecht (South Africa); F Carr (Kirkistown Castle); R Neergaard-Petersen (Denmark); M Norton (Belvoir Park); J Mis (England); A Maguire (Laytown & Bettystown); T Vahlenkamp (Germany); A Edwards-Hill (England); A Petit (France); C Rafferty (Dundalk); J Sundborg (England); S Done (England); B Anderson (The Royal Dublin); K Cantley  (Scotland); S Easton (Scotland); T Clements (England); J Davies (Wales); B McKenzie (England)75 B Jones (England); M Waite (England); C Farr (England); R Williamson (Holywood); D Germishuys (South Africa); J McMahon (England); D Howie (Scotland); J Johnston (Scotland); G Lenehan (Portmarnock); R Foley (Switzerland); A Flanagan (England); A Grant (Dundalk); M Martin (England)76 S Locke (Scotland); A Plumb (England); O Huggins (England); R Moran (Castle); D McAleenon (Edenmore); J Glenn (England); R Pierse (Grange); T Thurloway (England); D Brown (England); J de Bruyn (Germany); H Goddard (England)77 J Madden (Royal Portrush); J Whelan (Newlands); P Coughlan (Castleknock); M Ryan (New Ross); N Muller (France); W Nienaber (South Africa); J Bolton (England); M Power (Kilkenny)78 A McDougall (Scotland); A Laussot (France); K Egan (Carton House); T Plumb (England); J Gaunt (England); H Foley (The Royal Dublin); L Abrial (France); R Dutton (Tandragee); G Petrozzi (England); E Farrell (Ardee); P Mullins (Wales); T McLarnon (Massereene)79 R Black (Hilton Templepatrick); D Coghlan (Portmarnock); J Fletcher (Warrenpoint); D Mary (France); T Sloman (England)80 E Smith (Laytown & Bettystown); O Crooks (Bushfoot); D Kitt (Athenry); W Porter (Scotland)81 J Walsh (Castle); W Small (Tandragee); G Frimodt (Denmark); M Lamb (England); T Shin (England)82 D McNeill (Scotland); J Paterson (Scotland); C Woodroofe (Dun Laoghaire)83 R Knightly (The Royal Dublin)86 M d’Harcourt (France)last_img read more


first_imgThe Blues continue to hold the No. 1 offence in the country, averaging 542.7 yards per game and 40.7 points per game. That is thanks in large part to fourth-year quarterback Clay Sequeira and his deep receiving corps. Sequeira leads all U SPORTS QB’s with 419 passing yards per game and a whopping 14 touchdowns, six more than the next best pivots. Fresh off a bye week, the No. 10 nationally-ranked University of Toronto Varsity Blues football team hosts the Queen’s Gaels in our Under Armour Game of the Week this Saturday, September 21 at Varsity Stadium. The Gaels hold an 84-77-4 regular season head-to-head advantage over the Blues since their first meeting in 1887. Toronto looks to capture their first regular season victory over Queen’s since 1975 on Saturday. U of T previously defeated Queen’s in exhibition action during their 1993 Yates and Vanier Cup winning season. “We are looking forward to getting back in action this week versus Queen’s,” said Greg Marshall, who is in his second season as the Blues bench boss. “We have used the bye week to work on some things that we need to correct from the first three games, while also getting our players some rest. The timing of our bye should help us be in good shape for the second half of the season.” Kick off is set for 1 p.m. Advance tickets are on sale here. U of T students are free with a valid TCard. The game will also be streamed live on The Queen’s Gaels are coming off their first win of 2019 as they topped the Lancers, 15-8, in Kingston this past Saturday. Prior to that, the Gaels had dropped three straight, falling to the Carleton Ravens, Western Mustangs and Ottawa Gee-Gees. For more information, scores and highlights on your favourite U of T athletes and teams, please visit Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat and Facebook for the latest and greatest in Varsity Blues intercollegiate athletics. His main targets have been third-year standouts Nolan Lovegrove and Will Corby. Lovegrove leads the nation with 132.7 receiving yards per game and ranks second with four TD’s, while Corby tops U SPORTS with five receiving majors and ranks second with 118 yards per game. Toronto’s defence has been led by third-year linebacker Daniel Solaroli. The Toronto native has racked up 18 tackles in three games, while 2019 CFL draftee Malcolm Campbell and fifth-year defensive back Jordan Gillespie each have 15 tackles so far this season. An explosive Toronto offence has propelled the Varsity Blues to a 2-1 record in the early goings of the OUA football season. After narrowly dropping their season opener, 33-30, at Waterloo, the Blues defeated the Windsor Lancers, 54-26, in their home opener and went onto upset the then No. 10 nationally-ranked Laurier Golden Hawks, 38-34. Story Links The Varsity Blues will celebrate the 1974 Yates Cup championship team, who was inducted into the U of T Sports Hall of Fame this past spring, in a special halftime presentation. Halftime will also feature the inaugural Varsity Blues spelling bee as we put academic bragging rights on the line.  The University of Toronto is ranked 18th in the Times Higher Education rankings and that will be put to the test as a U of T contingent takes on a group from unranked Queen’s University.  Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

Letterkenny Hospital was fourth most overcrowded in January

first_imgAlmost 600 patients were forced to wait on trolleys for admission to Letterkenny University Hospital in January 2019. The figures were released by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation today, which showed an improvement on last year’s trolley records.There were 587 patients on trolleys at LUH in the first month of this year, compared to 671 in January 2018 and 552 in January 2017. This year’s records put LUH at number four on the list of the five most overcrowded hospitals in Ireland so far this year. University Hospital Limerick topped the list with 970 patients on trolleys last month.Over 10,000 admitted patients were recorded waiting on beds across all Irish hospitals in January 2019. This represents a 55% increase on the number of patients waiting for beds in January 10 years ago and a 30% increase on January five years ago.The INMO has highlighted that the figures are an underestimate because they are not including January 30th, when INMO members were on strike.INMO general secretary Phil Ni Sheaghdha said: “Over 10,000 hospital patients didn’t even have a bed last month in Ireland’s health service. “At the heart of this problem is understaffing. We simply cannot recruit and retain enough nurses and midwives on these wages. “Ireland’s nurses and midwives are no longer prepared to tolerate these conditions, for themselves or for their patients.”Letterkenny Hospital was fourth most overcrowded in January was last modified: February 3rd, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Stratford softball whips Colby in WIAA Division 3 regional quarterfinal

first_imgTigers do not allow a hit, score 15 runs in three inningsBy Paul LeckerSports ReporterSTRATFORD — Stratford started out its postseason with a bang, taking care of Colby 15-0 in just three innings in a WIAA Division 3 softball regional quarterfinal Wednesday at Hilgemann Field.The game was originally scheduled for Tuesday but was postponed by rain.Stratford (21-5) moves on to a regional semifinal against the Marathon-Edgar winner at home at 5 p.m. Thursday.The Tigers scored one run in the first inning and added seven more in both the second and third innings to end the game via the 15-run, three-inning rule.Macie Frueh had a single, a double, and a triple, scored twice, and drove in two runs for the Tigers. Sammy Griesbach aded two hits, two RBIs, and two runs, and Dallas Adams, Casey Kolbeck, and Kaylee Geiger also had two RBIs apiece for Stratford.Lorrie Luepke earned the win. She did not allow a hit in three innings, struck out three, and walked two.(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of 15, Hornets 0Colby 000 – 0 0 3Stratford 177 – 15 9 0WP: Lorrie Luepke. LP: Hayes.SO: Hayes (1 2/3 inn.) 5, Bruesewitz (2/3 inn.) 0; Luepke 3. BB: Hayes 3, Bruesewitz 4; Luepke 2.Top hitters: S, Brittany Bredemann 2B, 3 runs; Sammy Griesbach 2×3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs; Dallas Adams 2 runs, 2 RBIs; Casey Kolbeck 2 runs, 2 RBIs; Kaylee Geiger 2B, 2 RBIs; Macie Frueh 3×3, 2B, 3B, 2 runs, 2 RBIs.Records: Colby 3-15; Stratford 21-5.last_img read more

Case Preparation: The Key to Successful Shoplifter Prosecutions

first_imgThe loss prevention associate finally caught them red-handed. For three months, he had been trying to catch these shoplifters in the act. This time, he saw it happen. The male removed the frying pan from the box. He filled the box with Blu-ray discs and resealed it, leaving it on a shelf. The female walked by and picked up the box on her way to the checkout counter, where she paid $9.95 for the frying pan. She was quickly apprehended and handcuffed. The male shoplifter reentered the store to find his partner and was caught as well. Inside the box were discs worth $700, and the whole thing was recorded on CCTV surveillance video.The LP associate called 911 to get the police on their way, then called his associates at other stores to tell them the good news. The police arrived, and he scratched out a quick statement about what the shoplifters had done, handed it to the officers, and watched them leave. A feeling of satisfaction swept over him; nothing beats the feeling of success.Two weeks later, a detective called and asked for a more detailed description of what was in the frying pan box. Another call from the detective; this time, he wanted a copy of the sales document and a written statement from the cashier. He also wanted to know who handled the CCTV surveillance video and whether there was any video from previous visits by these two suspects.- Sponsor – The LP associate had to wait two days for the cashier to come back on shift. She didn’t remember much about the incident, but she wrote down what she did recall. He scanned old CCTV surveillance video in an attempt to locate the shoplifter suspects on earlier visits. It was in there someplace, if he could only find it.The detective stopped by and picked up what the LP associate could gather, told him the case was still under investigation, and left.Six months went by, and he forgot about the incident. Finally, he received a letter from the local prosecutor. The two shoplifters had pleaded guilty to misdemeanor theft and were given credit for time served. Each was assessed a $200 fine and had to pay some court costs. The LP associate thought to himself, “How could this be? That was a genuine felony if I ever saw one. This is an injustice!”A Closer Look at the Justice SystemThe scenario above is fictitious, but it is based upon facts from multiple retail shoplifter cases I worked during my time as a property crimes detective for the Snohomish County sheriff’s office in Washington. All too often, what appears to be a great shoplifter case ends up dwindling away to nothing by the time it makes its trip through the criminal justice system. This is rarely because the necessary facts were missing; it just becomes a victim of the process. Consider the following scenario.The case lands on a detective’s desk a week or two after the fact. The detective likely works a variety of cases, such as residential burglaries, car prowls, vehicle thefts, robberies, possibly ID theft, in addition to shoplifters and other retail crimes. It would join the 20–30 cases already on the desk, and would be joined by several more each day as time went on.The detective will eventually read the case and decide whether to work it or close it out. Since the Blu-ray external theft case involved a shoplifter arrest, and it appeared the probable cause was good, he would prepare a list of items needed before it could be sent to the prosecutor. He knows what the prosecutor requires and that the prosecutor will decline to charge the case if anything is missing. He also knows that he has a limited time to work this case since others are in process at the same time. Overtime is not allowed, and the extra detective that was to be assigned has been put on hold because of the financial conditions in the county.The detective needs a detailed list of recovered stolen property as well as a statement from the cashier. The CCTV surveillance video is pretty long, and he has to watch the whole thing to make sure he finds the important segments. Still photos of key events have to be printed and captioned. He will also need a second copy of the video for the prosecutor. The LP associate’s statement regarding the shoplifter incident is incomplete, but maybe he can get by with it.Somewhere during the process, another priority case comes along, and the detective has to send this one up the way it is at that point. It isn’t great, but it will have to do. He would have liked to put a better case together, but time ran out before he could do that.The prosecutor gets the case. Of course, it lands on a big stack of others that he is already reviewing. He looks at it and sees that it’s a little confusing, but the potential for a good felony conviction is there. A few pieces that he would really like to have are missing. He knows that he could send a follow-up request to the detective and may get the information. He also knows the suspects have been released from jail and have another hearing scheduled soon.He decides to offer them a sweet deal in the hope that they will take it, and he can close the case and get on to the next. He would prefer to take the time to put a great felony case together, but it isn’t a priority in his mind, so he’ll take what he can get. A month or two goes by before the case disposition notice is sent to the retailer. Hopefully, they will be satisfied with the outcome.Good Communication Is KeyThis scenario makes it sound like there is no hope for justice, crime really does pay, and there is no consequence for criminal actions. In fact, there is a solution, and it is simple to put in place. The critical ingredient is good communication and planning before the fact.Loss prevention associates and law enforcement need to work together on their cases. If the store knows what detectives need and prepares their shoplifter cases in such a way that all the necessary details are covered in the beginning, the detective will only have to add a few items, prepare a narrative statement, and send it to the prosecutor. Little time will be required on his part, and a quality product will be sent up.If the prosecutor receives a case that is complete, easy to read, and easy to understand, he will be able to charge it immediately, instead of having to send requests for additional investigation and running into the associated deadlines and time crunch. This increases the likelihood that the suspect will be charged appropriatelyToo often, the loss prevention associate doesn’t know what the detective needs, so they either send too little information or they use the “shotgun approach” and send everything they have along with their shoplifter case. This results in hours of sorting through paperwork at the detective office with additional items still needed in the end.From my experience, the best way to accomplish this is for the detective and loss prevention manager to sit down with a case and critique it. As an example, I worked with the Lynnwood, WA, Walmart asset protection manager on an organized retail crime (ORC) case. We spent about an hour going over the details. Then he took it back to the store and rewrote the report. When I received the final product, it was complete and virtually ready to be sent up. The prosecutor charged the case, as written. Walmart then conducted area-wide training of its AP associates with excellent success. We have since gone through this process with other retailers with similar results.On a related note, local prosecutors in several counties have raised the prosecution limits for felony crimes. These limits are usually negotiable. If the prosecutor is presented with information that the suspect or crime involved in a particular case, such as ongoing organized retail crime, is a serious or exceptional threat to the community, they are usually willing to make an exception and charge the case at full value. This has worked for me on several ORC cases.Law enforcement relies on input from LP associates for this type of information. If the same shoplifter suspect has been involved in multiple thefts over a period of time, the values can often be aggregated and the case charged based upon the overall total value of losses. However, everything must be accurately documented to use this approach.Following are basic requirements for compiling a good case file for prosecution.Determine the Proper ChargeThe appropriate criminal charge must be identified, and the elements of that crime must be met.In addition to those elements in state law, the prosecutor has a charging standard for each crime that may consist of additional requirements specific to that jurisdiction. For example, Washington law says that in order to make an ORC charge, more than one suspect must work together to steal from a retail establishment. The Snohomish County prosecutor charging standard adds the requirement that they must steal from multiple establishments. In my experience, they would like to have three related incidents involving the same suspects.The loss prevention associate must be well versed in the elements of each of these crimes. This knowledge will allow you to recognize what crime has been committed and will tell you what to include in your report. Often the police officer who responds to the store for a shoplifter arrest is not intimately familiar with all the retail theft laws, so a quick briefing from the LP person is necessary to get the right charge on the jail booking sheet.LP Associate’s StatementThis is the key to the entire case. This document defines what happened, how you know it happened, how you know the identity of the person in custody, what was stolen and its value, and what crime was committed. Each of the elements of the crime must be included and addressed in the statement.It is critical to write the statement in a manner that is easy to understand. Remember the reader probably has no retail experience and wasn’t there when it happened.Use plain language and avoid jargon. Explain the shoplifter’s actions in detail. It is better to say, “I saw the shoplifter remove the contents of a box and place CDs inside of it in an effort to conceal them” than to say “I saw the shoplifter box-stuffing on the CD aisle.”Identify the people involved by title and name and how you identified them. An example would be: “I saw a male, later identified as shoplifter suspect #1, John Smith, enter the north door. Smith was wearing a yellow shirt and gray pants. Smith stopped briefly and spoke to a female, later identified as shoplifter suspect #2, Suzy Jones. Smith and Jones then….” As the statement goes on, use their names. Too often, statements refer to S1 and S2 throughout, and the reader has to look back in the statement multiple times to figure out who these people are.If another store employee is involved or speaks to the suspect, you must include a written statement from that employee with your report. Identify them as, for example, “store cashier, witness #1, Jenny Wilson.” The employee should document their interaction with the shoplifter suspect, including details of any statements or comments made by the suspect. This could be critical to the overall case; more about this later.Clearly identify who prepared the CCTV surveillance video, who calculated the value of stolen property, and who completed each of the other tasks. Include a brief statement that this person has been trained and is authorized to perform this function.The prosecutor will require an accurate fair market value of the stolen property. In the case of a retail store, the marked price is the value. You must describe how you calculated the value. In the case of recovered property, it’s simple; just add up the prices.I have had cases where items were stolen, but not recovered. It was still possible to define a value because the store had an accurate inventory system, and the employees were able to determine what was taken based upon inventory records. The shoplifter suspect was recorded on video taking items from the shelf. Then the stock was counted and compared to the on-hand totals on the books. This process must be explained in the statement in a manner that convinces the prosecutor that the number is reasonably accurate.Obtain copies of sales documents or any other document associated with the incident. Digital photos of recovered property are also a bonus.CCTV Surveillance VideoCCTV surveillance video and photos are a valuable piece of evidence. “A picture speaks a thousand words” is true here. However, there are several pitfalls associated with this process that must be overcome.In my experience, it is all too common for a store to have a state-of-the-art digital CCTV surveillance system that records wonderful, clear information. But when the detective asks for a copy of the video footage, the store employee has no idea how to share it. They say something like “I’ll have to get in touch with my boss [or the installer or some other person]. I’ll let you know when the file is ready.” Make sure the users of the CCTV surveillance system know how to operate it.Camera placement is another problem. We receive many great photos of the top of the suspect’s baseball cap. I’ve never been able to positively identify a baseball cap. Some retailers have a camera in the doorpost at the entrance to the store in order to capture a full-face shot of the suspect at eye level when they enter or exit the building. This allows a positive ID and a clear view of the clothing worn by the suspect at the time of the incident. The rest of the cameras may be at ceiling level, but it’s easy to track the shoplifter suspect’s actions based upon the clothing that was identified at the entrance. If the loss prevention associate sees a crime being committed on CCTV, they have the ability to go back and review the video from the entrance until they find the right person.When preparing the video for law enforcement, include only those segments that show the shoplifter’s face and clothing, and show the shoplifter involved in the commission of the crime. Include all pertinent information, but keep it short. The longer the video, the less likely it will be reviewed by those who follow you in this process.To supplement the video, make still prints of the face shots and the critical moments when the shoplifter was involved in the criminal act. Each photo should have a caption on it that describes what is going on. Don’t expect the detective or prosecutor to be able to figure it out without your help. Include who it is and what they are doing. The detective will compare these photos with a copy of the suspect’s state drivers’ license photo or a previous booking photo to confirm his identity.Statements from ShopliftersShoplifters often hand you valuable evidence in the statements or commentsthey make. Listen carefully to what they say and write it down.I once worked a case where the shoplifter suspect entered a store empty-handed, as recorded on the entry video, went to the linens department and took a sheet set off the shelf, also recorded on video, then took it to the door security to get an authorization for a refund. He said he got it for a gift, but it didn’t fit his bed. After receiving the authorization he took it to the refund desk and got a gift card for his no-receipt refund. He told the customer service employee his wife didn’t like the color.The alerted loss prevention associate took a statement from the door security person and customer service person, in which they included the shoplifter suspect’s conflicting statements. Fortunately, the LP associate got the statements immediately, before they forgot the conversation. These statements, along with the video and still photos, clearly showed what happened and proved the shoplifter was lying to get the refund. There’s an old saying—“A provable lie is as good as a confession.” That was the case here; it proved his intent beyond a reasonable doubt.During the initial contact, the shoplifter suspect often has some excuse or explanation. Write these things down. After the shoplifter is apprehended, be sure to conduct an interview. You will often obtain additional statements or confessions that will make your case.In my experience, it seems that loss prevention associates are hesitant to interview shoplifters for some reason. It is important. Don’t pass up this opportunity.Snohomish County prosecutors have taken the position that it is not necessary for a store LP associate to Mirandize a shoplifter suspect who is in custody, unlike law enforcement who must advise suspects of their rights prior to any custodial interrogation. As long as the store employee is not acting as an agent for law enforcement or under direction of a police officer, Miranda is not necessary. However, you should clarify this in your jurisdiction to avoid having statements suppressed later in a court motion.The Benefits of a Well-Documented CaseThe importance of understanding each step in putting together a good case file cannot be overstated.Remember these five basic steps:1. Know the laws and elements of each crime. 2. Identify, collect, document, and prepare all evidence. This includes CCTV surveillance video, stolen/recovered property, and sales documents. 3. Collect written statements from all persons involved. 4. Conduct an interview. Listen carefully and document all statements made by the suspects. 5. After the above steps are completed, prepare your own written statement. Write it in plain language.Describe what happened and how you know it happened. If you saw it happen, say so. Describe the above four steps in your statement as well.If possible, the above should be completed prior to the arrival of law enforcement. It is usually okay to delay calling them for a while so you can get your case together. This allows you to hand them a complete case package on the spot.Timing is critical. If a shoplifter suspect is arrested in our county, there will be an arraignment hearing in court the following business day. The prosecutor must have the initial case report prior to this hearing.The purpose of the arraignment is to determine if there is probable cause to charge the shoplifter and whether he will be held or released. The information you provide is critical to this process. The more time that elapses between the actual incident and the documentation of it, the more that will be forgotten or lost. If necessary, additional details can be added later in the form of a follow-up, but the majority of the information should be documented immediately.From my experience, the process described above does not require much additional time for the store employee. All the needed information is there when the shoplifter is caught or leaves the store. With a focused effort, the right information can be collected and organized in the right format to expedite the whole process.The benefits are clear. If law enforcement receives a complete, easy-to-follow case from the store, they will be happy to send it through to the prosecutor. The case will be complete, requiring little or no follow-up.The prosecutor will receive a package with all the information they need to do their job and will be confident that it will result in a successful prosecution. As a result, they will be willing to charge it at full value.Thieves will soon learn that stealing from your company results in their being charged with serious crimes. Word will get around, and they will be more likely to avoid coming back to your store to ply their trade–when they get out of jail, that is.All of this, of course, ultimately will help contribute to the bottom-line profit margin for your store.This article was originally published in 2009 and was updated January 29, 2018.You’ve just read one of LPM’s most popular articles. Discover more high-quality industry content from LP Magazine with a digital or print subscription. 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