Retail Crime

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 23rd March 2010.

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Photo of Anne McIntosh Anne McIntosh Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) 2:30 pm, 23rd March 2010

How many people have been prosecuted for offences related to retail crime in the last 12 months.

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Photo of Claire Ward Claire Ward Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Ministry of Justice

The Ministry of Justice's court proceedings database does not hold information on offences beyond descriptions in the statutes under which prosecutions are brought. However, I can tell the hon. Lady that convictions for shoplifting rose by 9 per cent. and that some 45,600 penalty notices for disorder were issued for retail thefts under £200 in 2008. The Government take crime against businesses very seriously, and we are firmly committed to working to find effective solutions and responses to crimes against businesses.

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Photo of Anne McIntosh Anne McIntosh Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

I thank the Minister for that reply, but it is a load of twaddle. That 9 per cent. increase, those 45,000 offences and the police computer system that does not recognise multiple offences are the legacy of the Labour Government. The Conservatives will do better.

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Photo of Claire Ward Claire Ward Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Ministry of Justice

It would be very interesting to see how the Conservatives would do better, given that they want to tie the hands of the police and crime enforcement officers in relation to many of the measures that we are using effectively, such as those involving DNA and CCTV. Perhaps the hon. Lady should talk to her Front-Bench team and her party leader about changing their policy if they really have a strong message on crime.

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Photo of Anne McIntosh Anne McIntosh Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

That was a highly inappropriate answer, Mr. Speaker, and I should like to withdraw, and beg leave to introduce an Adjournment debate on this issue.

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