Theft: Sentencing

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 17th June 2022.

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Photo of Stephanie Peacock Stephanie Peacock Shadow Minister (Defence)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of the length of sentences for theft of items which are essential to a person’s livelihood.

Photo of James Cartlidge James Cartlidge Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) , Assistant Whip

An assessment of the adequacy of the length of sentences for theft of items which are essential to a person’s livelihood has not been carried out. Data on items stolen when a theft offence has been committed is not centrally held.

Sentencing is entirely a matter for our independent courts. When deciding what sentence to impose the courts take into account the circumstances of the offence, the offender and any aggravating and mitigating factors, in line with any relevant sentencing guidelines – which are issued by the independent Sentencing Council. The sentencing guideline for theft makes it clear that the value of items stolen to the loser, regardless of monetary worth, and any consequential financial harm to victims or others must be considered when determining the sentence.

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