Police and MSPs react to retailer death following shoplifting incident

Members of Scottish Parliament and Police Scotland have commented on the death of a retailer which followed a shoplifting incident

wholesale thefts

Retailer Bashir Ahmed passed away following a shoplifting and assault at a store in Newtongrange, Lothian, Police Scotland has revealed.

At around 7pm on 18 August, police were called to a Best-one store on Main Street in Newtongrange.

The call followed the report of a shoplifting incident and assault by a female youth at the premises.

The 69-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene a short time later.

Police react to shoplifting rise

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “The death is being treated as unexplained, and enquiries into the circumstances remain ongoing.”

The female youth was not reported in connection with the death of the 69-year-old, and no charge has currently been brought forward, according to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.

Fed national president Muntazir Dipoti said: “We are deeply saddened to hear about the recent event involving one of our members, Bashir Ahmed. Our thoughts are with the family, and we are reaching out to offer our support in any possible way.

“Shop theft is not a victimless crime, it is a blight on retailers and can disrupt people’s lives significantly. 

“We strongly encourage retailers to report any occurrences of retail crime to the police, who are reportedly due to make a pledge to investigate every crime soon.”

Retailer anger over shoplifting in the area

The news follows a recent shoplifting incident taking place at Dan Brown’s Pinkie Farm Store in Mussleburgh, just under eight miles away from Newtongrange, with frustration at a lack of police action to tackle retail crime.

Brown wrote “after being physically assaulted and told [he] would be stabbed”, Police Scotland told him to book an appointment because they were “unable to attend to see [him] this evening” due to “ongoing priority calls”.

MSP for the Midlothian North and Musselburgh constituency Colin Beattie said he regards the incident as being “serious”, and it “should be investigated by police without delay”.

Meanwhile, Labour MSP for the Lothian region Sarah Boyack said the news of both incidents in the area is “deeply worrying” and called on the government to provide the police with resources to tackle “all forms of crime”, including shoplifting and assault.

“Shoplifting and assault of any kind are extremely disruptive to people’s lives,” she continued. “Now, small, local businesses in Musselburgh are taking a hit. Our communities should be – and feel – safe.

Beattie agreed with this sentiment, noting that action is needed by police and council to “stamp [crime] out”.

“Mindless anti-social behaviour at various locations across the constituency have a long-lasting impact on victims. Attacks on workers that serve our community are completely unacceptable.”

He added that he “will be making enquiries to Police Scotland about recent incidents” on what actions they are taking to protect the local community from crime.

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