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Shoplifting (Prosecutions)

Volume 986: debated on Thursday 19 June 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, of the 80,000 people tried in England and Wales for shoplifting in 1978 of whom 5,000 were not convicted, how many and what percentage pleaded not guilty ; how many and what percentage who pleaded not guilty were acquitted ; and of those who pleaded not guilty and were acquitted, how many and what percentage were men and women, respectively.

Of the 80,000 defendants of all ages tried for offences of shoplifting in all courts in England and Wales in 1978, about 1,000 were not convicted because the charge was withdrawn before full evidence was heard. Of the remaining 79,000 persons, our records show that about 8,800—11 per cent.—pleaded not guilty of whom 4,100—47 per cent.—were acquitted. 1,800—44 per cent.—of those acquitted were males and 2,300—56 per cent. were females. Corresponding information on persons aged 17 and over is published in table 4·9 of "Criminal Statistics, England and Wales 1978" (Cmnd. 7670).