Dominic Raab MP has written to the CPS and Surrey Police demanding to know why no prosecution was brought against a shoplifter despite overwhelming evidence.

The Esher and Walton MP intervened when shop owner Tracey Blatchford contacted him as a last resort.

Mrs Blatchford, who owns Bradley and Brown interiors shop in Bridge Road, East Molesey, said she felt let down by police and the CPS after a shoplifter was caught on her premises on Tuesday, April 2.

Mr Raab asked for clarification on policy which meant the shoplifter was not prosecuted for the offence, because she was already due in court for offences the previous day.

The CPS decided it was not proportionate to prosecute for the East Molesey theft because it would make no difference to her sentence.

Mr Raab, in a letter to CPS chief crown prosecutor Roger Coe-Salazar, said: “It ought to be policy to prosecute if there is clear-cut evidence, unless there is an exceptional public interest not to.

“"As you know, Surrey has the worst sanctioned detection rates in the county.

“It is hardly surprising if such a lax prosecution approach is taken.”

Mrs Blatchford said a member of staff caught the shoplifter when she discovered unpaid for cheese markers from the shop in her bag, but was subsequently told the new offence added no weight to the others she had already committed.

Mrs Blatchford said: “It made me feel like going to Tesco and shop lifting and then going back the next day and doing it again, because clearly you can do whatever you like.

“I feel let down and I feel like there’s no support for my member of staff that did the right thing and stopped them.

“You always hear that crime rates are low in Surrey, but of course they will be low if we just tap people on the back of the hand and say don’t do that again. It’s not the right message to be sending out.”

Investigating officer Dawn Worsnip wrote to Mrs Blatchford to apologise for the fact she was disappointed by the outcome and explained the CPS decision.

She also said the force could issue a banning order, to prevent the shoplifter returning to the shop.