The following table shows the number of previous convictions of offenders who were sentenced for retail theft in England and Wales 2008 to 2012.
|Number of previous convictions of offenders who were sentenced for retail theft in England and Wales 2008 to 2012.|
|Number of previous convictions|
|Offenders convicted in each year||0||1 or more||2 or more||5 or more||10 or more|
|Source: Ministry of Justice|
It should be noted that around 98% of offenders sentenced for retail theft are dealt with at a magistrates court, broadly indicating the lower levels of planning involved in the offences in question and the stolen goods typically being of a lower value. An increasing number of offences are carried out by re-offenders with five offences or more, which highlights the need for effective rehabilitation of those convicted. The Government is committed to strengthening sentences, so that they combine robust punishment with requirements that are effective at preventing further offending and which provide reparation to victims and communities. At a time when crime is falling we have increased the length and duration of curfews, given courts greater flexibility to impose programme and treatment requirements, and made the delivery of community payback swifter and more intensive.
The data provided are based on the primary offence at each separate sentencing occasion and are based on sentenced occasions and not sentenced individuals which means an individual may appear more than once in each year in the data.
Numbers of previous convictions are taken at the time the offender was sentenced for retail theft and are based on counting the number of previous occasions the offender was convicted for any offence. An offender may appear more than once in the figures if they have been sentenced for a number of separate retail theft offences over the period.
A retail theft offence has been taken to include the following offence:
Theft Act 1968 Sec. 1 Stealing from shops and stalls (shoplifting)
The Police National Computer (PNC) from which the figures are calculated came into existence in 2000, so data before 2000 are not available. In addition, the latest available figures are for the period up to and including December 2012. Figures about the criminal histories of offenders sentenced during the period January 2013 to March 2013 are due to be published on