Shoplifting: Prosecutions

Home Office written question – answered at on 1 February 2023.

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Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous The Second Church Estates Commissioner, The Second Church Estates Commissioner

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to help ensure that perpetrators of shoplifting are charged.

Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp The Minister of State, Home Department

The Government recognises the significant impact that shoplifting can have, not only on businesses but also the wider community and consumers.

We are working closely with retailers, trade organisations, police and enforcement partners across England and Wales via the National Retail Crime Steering Group (NRCSG) to ensure the response to crimes affecting the retail sector, including shoplifting, is as robust as it can be.

We also support the police-led National Business Crime Centre (NBCC) and National Police Chiefs’ Council to help ensure businesses and police are working effectively together to tackle shoplifting. This includes encouraging businesses to report incidents when they occur, gather relevant evidence and work closely with the police to ensure incidents are dealt with appropriately.

The Crime and Policing Minister wrote to PCCs and Chief Constables in September 2020, setting out that the theft of goods valued up to £200 from a shop should be prosecuted as a criminal offence and therefore should not constrain the ability of the police to arrest or prosecute someone in the way they feel is most appropriate.

We expect that all reported crimes, including shoplifting, should be taken seriously and properly investigated.

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