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Police Cautions: Fixed Penalties

Volume 457: debated on Friday 23 February 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) cautions and (b) fixed penalty notices were issued in each of the last three years for (i) burglaries, (ii) theft and (iii) other offences; and if he will make a statement. (120283)

Data on the number of offenders cautioned for burglary, theft and other offences in England and Wales 2003 to 2005 are provided in table A.

The Penalty Notice for Disorder (PND) Scheme was rolled out to all police forces in England and Wales in 2004 under the provisions of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001. Under the scheme, the police are able to issue penalty notices of either £50 or £80, for a specified range of minor disorder offences including (minor) shop theft of goods under £200. PNDs cannot be issued for burglary offences. The power to issue a penalty notice is a discretionary one and provides an additional option to other methods of disposal including custody.

As the PND Scheme was introduced in 2004, data on the number of PNDs issued are only available for 2004 and 2005 (shop theft became a PND offence on 1 November 2004). This is provided in table B. Provisional data on the number of PNDs issued for the whole of 2006 will be available in April 2007.

Table A: Offenders cautioned for burglary, theft and all other offences, England and Wales, 2003 to 20051

Number

Offence class

2003

2004

2005

Burglary

5,568

5,604

6,451

Theft and handling stolen goods

54,466

61,944

67,619

All offences

241,806

255,768

298,945

1 Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete.

However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.

Table B: Penalty notices for disorder issued for shoplifting and all other offences, England and Wales, 2004, 2005 and January to June 2006 provisional figures1

Number

Offence class

2004

2005

2006

All offences

63,639

146,481

88,911

Of which:

Shoplifting (retail under £200)

2,072

21,997

16,807

1 Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.