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Shoplifting: Convictions

Volume 474: debated on Thursday 3 April 2008

To ask the Solicitor-General how many successful prosecutions have been brought for shoplifting in each of the last five years. (197400)

I have been asked to reply.

Data showing the number of defendants found guilty at all courts, cautioned and issued with Penalty Notices for Disorder for the offence of theft from a shop or stall in England and Wales for the respective years 2002 to 2006 are in the following table.

PNDs and conditional cautions, in addition to simple cautions, allow low level offending to be dealt with effectively outside court when it is not in the public interest to prosecute.

Under the Penalty Notice for Disorder Scheme rolled out to all forces in England and Wales in 2004, a fixed penalty of £80 can be issued for shoplifting of goods, normally up to a value of £100. The offence was added to the scheme in November 2004.

National roll-out of conditional cautions began in June 2006.

The figures given in the table on prosecutions relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences, the offence selected is the one for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.

Court proceedings, cautions and Penalty Notice for Disorder data for 2007 will be available in the autumn of 2008.

Number of defendants found guilty, cautioned and issued with penalty notices for disorder for the offence of theft from a shop or stall, England & Wales, 2002 to 20061,2

Found guilty

Cautioned3

Penalty notices for disorder4

2002

80,166

34,190

n/a

2003

74,927

35,384

n/a

2004

69,541

41,165

2,072

2005

64,076

44,009

21,997

2006

58,536

45,054

38,772

1 These data are on the principal offence basis.

2 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 the courts and 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.

3 Includes conditional cautions.

4 The Penalty Notice for Disorder Scheme was rolled out to all police forces in 2004. The police can issue a fixed penalty of £80 for shoplifting of goods up to the value of £200.

Source:

RDS-OCJR - Ministry of Justice.