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Shoplifting: Fixed Penalties

Volume 489: debated on Tuesday 10 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the answer of 9 February 2009, Official Report, column 1548W, on shoplifting: fixed penalties, what length of time should have passed before a previous shoplifting offence should be taken into account when considering whether to issue a second penalty notice; and whether the ability of the offender to pay is taken into account in deciding whether to issue a second notice. (260099)

Further to the reply given on 9 February, the guidance is designed to help with the exercise of a police officer's discretion in issuing a penalty notice for disorder. No specific time period is set after which a further PND may be issued, but the guidance to forces makes clear that it will not be appropriate to do so where there has been another shoplifting offence in the recent past.

No means testing is involved in the issue of a penalty notice for disorder for a first or subsequent offence. The success of the scheme depends on the speed and simplicity of issuing a ticket. The existing guidance states that a penalty notice for disorder will not be appropriate where no satisfactory address exists for enforcement purposes, possibly because the suspect may be homeless or sleeping rough.