Children regularly shoplift at a co-operative supermarket in Goring

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A GROUP of children shoplift in a supermarket several times a day and leave staff ‘terrified’ according to one customer.

The Field Place Parade co-op in Goring has experienced a series of incidents over the past few months.

Several traders in the region say the problems have worsened since the start of this year.

The client claims to have witnessed at least eight different incidents involving children at the co-op and took pictures twice.

More recently, he has seen youths “throwing shopping carts”, allegedly stolen alcohol and several other items stolen daily.

The Argus investigated crime in the Worthing area after allegations of shoplifting at several businesses. Items taken include alcohol, vapes, a plaster saw, and spray paint.

On July 15, two girls allegedly stole cider and other Co-op items. The case was dropped due to “insufficient evidence”. The man in the center is an innocent passerby

This week we revealed how a wave of youth crime in Worthing led the Transport Police to create a ‘wanted’ style poster of 30 kids to watch – dubbed the ‘West Coast Nominals’.

Yesterday we reported on how a Budgens store worker fought a 14-year-old with a knife. And today we reveal how another store suffered from crime.

The co-op customer, who lives in the Worthing area but asked not to be named, said ‘rampant and crazy’ behavior was not being punished.

The Argus: The child can be seen with a kitchen knife at a Budgens store in Boxgrove, Goring on March 7The child can be seen with a kitchen knife at a Budgens store in Boxgrove, Goring on March 7

He said: “Children don’t need a lot of encouragement to make their behavior worse if, time and time again, they just extend the scope of their bad behavior and it’s not thwarted.

“You will end up with children who are not responsible for their bad behavior.

“I was taken care of as a child, I know I felt safest when I had rules and boundaries.”

The customer took a picture of what he said were two girls walking out of the co-op with items, including a case of cider, on July 15. The man in the center of the photo, entering the store, is an innocent passerby.

The client reported this incident to the police. They said the investigation was launched due to “insufficient evidence”.

Another incident of suspected shoplifting was also reported to police on July 19.

The investigation into this incident is “ongoing”.

The Argus: A photo taken of children leaving the co-op after allegedly shoplifting on July 19.  You can see the child on the right raising his middle fingerA picture taken of children leaving the co-op after allegedly shoplifting on July 19. The child on the right can be seen raising his middle finger

Traders and residents fear that justice will not be done.

The Co-op customer added: “They don’t stand a chance, it’s rampant and crazy.

“Why don’t we have Asbos? Why didn’t we get an order banning them from here?”

On Monday August 1, children entered the cooperative and allegedly assaulted the staff by “throwing shopping baskets”.

The customer claims that a store employee had to take time off work as a result.

The co-op said it was unable to release CCTV of the altercation, but confirmed there was an incident at the store “which led to the police being called”.

Sussex Police have arrested three boys on suspicion of multiple offenses including a fight, robbery and common assault, but all three have been released on bail pending further investigation.

A force spokesperson said: “Officers responded to a disturbance at a Co-op store in Field Place Parade, Worthing, between 1.30pm and 2.10pm on August 1.

“A 13-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of fighting, robbery, robbery, criminal damage and common assault.

“A 14-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of a fight, robbery, burglary, common assault and theft.

“A 14-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of brawling, robbery, assault and theft.”

The Argus: The Co-op at Field Place Parade, GoringThe Co-op at Field Place Parade, Goring

“The impact on the community is horrendous, I’m so angry but also sympathetic to these kids,” the furious shopper said.

“Fear for the welfare of children and getting them stuck in the criminal justice system must take a back seat to the fear of community members they are terrorizing.”

A member of staff told The Argus they were so scared to get home on the train one stop away that they now paid around £9 more for a taxi at the end of shifts.

On Sunday July 24, a wheelie bin was set on fire in the loading area of ​​the same co-op which nearly spread to the apartments above.

The West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said the fire was “deliberate” and Sussex Police said investigations into it were “ongoing”.

During a visit to Durrington last month, The Argus saw a girl steal her lunch from the same co-op as staff watched helplessly. Staff are encouraged not to intervene in incidents of shoplifting.

The Argus: A wheelie bin fire was deemed deliberate by WSFRS.  On the right, the aftermath of the fireA wheelie bin fire was deemed deliberate by WSFRS. On the right, the aftermath of the fire

Sussex Police said they were continuing to respond to “concerns about anti-social behavior by a small group of young people in and around the locality of Worthing”.

A Co-op spokesperson said: “Retail crime, violence, abuse and anti-social behavior affects all retailers and should not be part of the job when store employees are working hard to serve. their communities.

“Co-op successfully campaigned for tougher penalties for attacks on store workers.

“This goes hand in hand with investments in the latest technology such as body-worn cameras and SmartWater sprays that deter criminal behavior, coupled with a close and collaborative relationship with commercial crime units and police in Sussex, designed to arrest prolific offenders within the community we serve.”

The Argus: Vapes and alcohol were allegedly stolen from local McColl's Vapes and alcohol allegedly stolen from area McColls

The Argus understands that several other stores in the area have been targeted, including a McColl’s convenience store 100 yards away which has reportedly been targeted for alcohol and vapes in the past.

A spokeswoman for McColl’s said: ‘The health, safety and well-being of our employees and customers is of the utmost importance.

“We are working closely with the relevant authorities.”

Tomorrow: Find out how children are terrorizing nearby businesses on the railway line from Worthing to Hove.

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