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Shoplifting: Reoffenders

Volume 493: debated on Monday 1 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice when he plans to issue amended guidelines to reduce reoffending by those convicted of shop theft. (276123)

The Government issue operational guidance on the issuing of penalty notices for disorder (PNDs) to police forces under section 6 of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001. This guidance sets out the criteria which should be considered by police officers before issuing PNDs.

Following representations from the hon. Lady and from retail organisations, the guidance covering shoplifting is being strengthened so as to make clear that no offender should receive more than one PND. We hope that a tougher response to shop theft will help reduce reoffending. The new guidance will be issued shortly.

We are also reviewing the use of PNDs for theft and will report our conclusions to the House soon.