Alternatives to Prosecution: Shoplifting

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 5th March 2020.

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Photo of Matthew Offord Matthew Offord Conservative, Hendon

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people convicted of retail theft have been dealt with via an out-of-court disposal in the most recent period for which figures are available.

Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

The Ministry of Justice has published information on out of court disposals including Penalty Notices for Disorder (PND) and cautions by offence up to December 2018. This information can be found using the Out of Court Disposals data tool.

In the PND pivot replace ‘Outcome’ with ‘Offence’ in the ‘Rows’ field. Put ‘Outcomes’ in the ‘Filters’ field and filter by ‘DA12 Theft (retail under £100)’. The total number of PNDs issued for Theft (retail under £100) will then be displayed in row 21.

In the Cautions pivot, filter by ‘Offence’ to include only ’46 Theft from Shops’. The total number of cautions issued for these offences in each year will then be displayed in row 21.

Separately, the Home Office has published information on outcomes for police recorded crimes, including community resolutions. These are counted on a ‘per offence’ basis (rather than per defendant as the case with the MoJ data on cautions and PNDs above). The number of community resolutions for shoplifting can be found in the outcomes open data tables, available at the landing page here: with the latest tables (for the first two quarters of 2019/20) available here:

In the offence subgroup tab select ‘Shoplifting’

Remove ‘sum of force outcomes for offences recorded in quarter’

Drag ‘Force outcomes recorded in quarter’ to the values field and ensure it says ‘Sum of’ (rather than count of) – if not, click the pull down, value field settings and change to sum.

Add financial year and financial quarter to the columns field and sum across relevant quarters of community resolutions displayed in the table. Previous financial years are published on the landing page above.

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