Florida’s Zero-Tolerance of Organized Theft Will Prevent It From Becoming Like California, Says Attorney General

Toby Hazlewood

Zero tolerance for repeat theft in Florida

Appearing on Fox Business on December 2, Florida's Attorney General Ashley Moody was keen to emphasize that the state's new 'zero tolerance' initiative is intended to catch and punish greater numbers of organized criminals and repeat thieves.

It's intended to prevent the state from becoming just like California or Minnesota.

The AG is referring to the previously unseen levels of coordinated theft and looting that have occurred in California in recent weeks, largely unchallenged and unpunished.

Central to AG Moody's initiative is to implement a business-law enforcement database to track retail theft and organized crimes, as a means of tracking repeat and serial thieves so that they can then be prosecuted to the fullest extent that the law allows.

Protecting law-abiding citizens (and shoppers)

Speaking on the initiative, Attorney General Moody had this to say:

Gov. DeSantis and I are working so hard and diligently to ensure Florida doesn't become California or Minnesota. We want people to feel secure. We want tourists that come here to feel secure. Folks come here from all over the world for shopping. And so this cannot happen in Florida for our prosperity and success.

The centralized data exchange called 'Force' will allow law enforcement officials to work with retailers to identify and track incidents of theft and organized crime. The perpetrators can then be brought to justice. Data capture and sharing is a necessary part of trying to track repeat theft and to apprehend offenders, even if it potentially erodes privacy and increases data being held and manipulated by state government.

A problem of so-called progressivism?

The reference to what's going on in California is more than just a bit of partisan points-scoring by the AG for Florida. Cities like San Francisco are currently in the grip of rising homelessness and out-of-control shoplifting and looting in major commercial centers. This has forced stores to install and operate with store-fronts boarded up in a bid to prevent further smash-and-grab attacks.

Boarded up store frontPhoto by Jack Cohen on Unsplash

Residents of Californian cities are taking to social media to express their anger and frustration at the lack of accountability being taken by local politicians to address the issue. Venting on Twitter, San Franciscan Michelle Tandler had this to say:

"This is what happens when the criminal justice system doesn't work. San Francisco has become lawless and residents and businesses are going into self-protection mode... A shiny example of what a progressive-run city looks like. I believe our government is more akin to a regime than a body of public servants. San Franciscans -- this is our doing. It's up to us to reverse the trend."

Such events will likely be avoided with the initiative the Gov. DeSantis and AG Moody are launching and pushing through. If it works out, Floridian businesses will likely feel a lot safer as a result.

Are you in favor of more in-depth collaboration between police and businesses if it means lowered rates of theft? Do you believe that increased use of computers and tracking of data is an invasion of privacy and constitutional rights? Let me know in the comments section below.

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