New Offence of low value shoplifting introduced
The new offence of Low Level Shoplifting has been introduced. The offence is created by s176 Antisocial behaviour crime and policing act 2014, it inserts the new offence under s22A magistrates court act 1980.
This new offence has been created to allow the police to charge the offence. The offence only applies to defendants over 18. It defines low value shoplifting as a theft from a shop/store/trade by a customer or purported customer of items with retail value of less than £200. Where there is more than one theft the value should be aggregated. The defendant retains the right to elect a crown court trial should they wish, but otherwise the offence is now summary only, and cannot be committed to the crown court for sentence
The offence of Low level shoplifting is still punishable with max 6 months imprisonment. store detectives also retain the powers of arrest and police retain powers of search for evidence.
The introduction of Low Value shoplifting means it can be charged by the police as opposed to the crown prosecution service. This means that there will be 72,000 offences taken away from the Crown Prosecution Service which means a streamlined and cheaper way of prosecution.
The defendant is also allowed to plead guilty by post.
The offence came into force on 13th May 2014.
At Emery Johnson Astills we have an experienced team who can provide you with the advice and support you need from the police station, and if necessary through to trial. If you need assistance, please call Emery Johnson Astills Leicester on 0116 255 4855 or our Loughborough Office on 01509 610312 today.