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Justice secretary launches policy born in Thurrock
JUSTICE secretary Chris Grayling returned to Thurrock to launch a new policy - which was born in the borough.
A year ago, Mr Grayling visited three businesses in Hedley Avenue, West Thurrock who had been blighted by theft.
He heard how, one, Tanker and General - owned by Trevor Underhill, had lost tens of thousands of pounds to thieves stealing metal and diesel from his premises.
Mr Underhill told the Justice boss that he felt the courts ignored the impact these thefts have on businesses.
He welcomed the revisit of Mr Grayling, who was announcing the new victims code, which comes into force on December 10.
As part of the new code, businesses will be able to submit an impact statement, detailing the damaging affect even a small theft has had on business. It is hoped the statements will lead to tougher sentences.
Mr Underhill said: “I welcome anything that strengthens the judicial system and protects businesses,”
“One small theft could mean you lose a customer and that might be a £100,000 account.”
Mr Grayling said: “You have people coming in, stealing what appears to be a relatively small amount of material but that has a disproportionate affect and the courts just weren’t taking that into account.
“The idea now is the court takes a look and says this is more than just a loss of a bit of metal, it has actually had quite a significant impact on the business that’s endangering jobs and the business’s ability to keep its customers.”
Thurrock MP Jackie Doyle-Price, who invited Mr Grayling along last November said: “Mr Underhill employs eight people. Losing a contract could cost them their jobs. That’s what we’re talking about. There’s a direct impact on jobs and livelihoods.”
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