Shoppers have received a warning about a little-known law they could break while at the supermarket.
Most people would never dream of walking into a store and picking up a product without paying for it first.
But that’s exactly what some supermarket shoppers do because they just can’t wait to get home to eat one of their purchases.
READ MORE:Every driver warned about the law you could break when filling your car
It could be a chocolate bar or the sandwich from a meal, but it’s not uncommon to see a shopper drop an empty package on the conveyor belt with the rest of their purchases.
Although this habit may seem quite innocent, criminal law scholars Adkirk’s Law in Southport warned you could break the law.
Rachel Adamson says that very few people realize that the product is not yours until the sale is over.
She said: “Although you honestly intend to pay for a bar of chocolate you ate while shopping in a supermarket, it is still technically illegal under section 6 of the Theft Act 1968. .
“Buying a product at the checkout is what transfers ownership of the product owned by the merchant to the one that belongs to you. And it is only when that sale is complete that you have the legal right to consume or use it. If you eat the chocolate before you legally own it, you permanently deprive the owner of their right to the product – they can no longer deny you the sale or take the item off the shelves.
“In another example, it would be like redecorating a house before you’ve traded contracts or spray painting a car while it’s still in the showroom. Even with the honest intention of purchasing the product, you should not modify or use anything that is not yours.
Ms Adamson said: “Worryingly, new legislation is also catching people, such as illegal wi-fi use or illegal downloading of music or certain documents, which now seems quite natural to do without asking.
“It is also illegal to send unsolicited mail to another person without their consent under data protection laws and people have been prosecuted for it.”
Data protection laws state that you may only send emails to individual subscribers if they have “previously notified the sender” of their specific consent to receive such emails.
Rachel calls for caution. She added: “Be careful. We should all consider the possible consequences before we engage in some of these things – you could be breaking the law on something important and ending up in court. Take advice first if you have any doubts.
Adkirk Law is a leading UK law firm offering a niche practice with expertise in regulatory law, including serious fraud, regulation and police misconduct.
Regulatory violations can result in enforcement action against businesses or individuals.
Any violation of regulations or obligations can result in loss of registration with regulators, criminal prosecution, prohibition notices, and other serious penalties.