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"We have notified the police of the current situation and will not hesitate to encourage anyone who falls victim to theft while on our premises to press full charges, should the thief be identified."

Could anyone please help me to explain the meaning of "premises" and "press full charges" here? Does "premises" mean buildings? and "press full charges" mean they want to put more efforts to catch the thieves?

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2 Answers 2

Premises means building or property - in this case, Winona's nightclub: see the Cambridge definition here.

Press charges, meanwhile, means "to complain officially about someone in a law court" (Cambridge definition here) - the addition of "full" suggests doing as much as possible in legal terms to make those responsible pay for the theft.

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There are signs in (American) stores that read, "Shoplifters/violators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law." That's what "press full charges" means. And it is operative on the local "premises" or property.

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