Restrict the use of penalty notices for disorder in respect of the offence of theft
from retail and commercial premises; to revise sentencing guidelines in
respect of this offence; to make provision for the recording on a national
database of penalty notices for disorder issued; and for connected purposes.
Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and
consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—
Use of penalty notices for disorder for theft offences
The Secretary of State must, within six months of the date on which this Act
comes into force, issue guidance under section 6(b) of the Criminal Justice and
Police Act 2001 (c. 16) (Secretary of State’s guidance).
The guidance issued pursuant to subsection (1) must provide that, in respect of
an offence of theft from commercial or retail premises, a penalty notice for
disorder may only be issued if—
the total value of the goods in respect of which an offence of theft has
been established is less than £100,
the offender has no previous criminal convictions,
the offender is not under 16 years of age, and
the goods stolen have been returned to the retail premise or the police
Before a penalty notice for disorder is issued under subsection (2), consent to
the issuing of such a notice must be given to a police officer by the manager of,
or person with responsibility for, the retail premise from which the theft has
A penalty notice for disorder issued under subsection (2) must be issued in a
Sentencing guidelines for theft
The Secretary of State must, within two months of the date on which this Act
is passed, make a proposal to the Sentencing Guidelines Council under section
170 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (c. 44) (guidelines relating to sentencing
and allocation) that guidelines in respect of the offence of theft from
commercial or retail premises be revised.
The proposal made pursuant to subsection (1) must include a proposal for
persistent offenders and those causing significant criminal damage whilst
committing an offence of theft to be liable to—
a fine not less than level three on the standard scale, or
a community sentence, within the meaning of section 147 of the
Criminal Justice Act 2003 (general restrictions on community
whichever is the most appropriate in the circumstances.
For the purposes of this section “persistent offenders” means those offenders
who have been found guilty, or issued penalty notices for disorder in respect,
of two or more theft offences within the previous 24 months.
Penalty notices for disorder on national database
All penalty notices for disorder issued by the police in respect of the offence of
theft from commercial or retail premises must, within 24 hours of the offence
taking place, be recorded on a central database maintained by such persons
and in such manner as the Association of Chief Police Officers may determine.
The recorded information must include—
the name, age and address of the offender,
the offence in respect of which the notice was issued,
the date on which the offence was committed, and
the value of goods stolen.
The records maintained on the database must be deleted or destroyed in
accordance with any guidelines which the Secretary of State may issue.
Short title, commencement and extent
This Act may be cited as the Theft from Shops (Use of Penalty Notices for
Apart from subsection (3), this Act comes into force on the day on which it is
Section 3 comes into force twelve months after the date on which it is passed.
This Act extends to England and Wales only.