New Guidelines for Sentencing of Theft Offences
The Sentencing Council has recently published a new guideline for criminal courts on the sentencing of theft offences.
Official statistics reveal that theft is one of the most common offences with more than 91,000 offenders were sentenced last year.
The guidelines will apply to the full range of theft offences, such as shop theft, pick-pocketing, handling stolen goods, stealing by employees or care workers and abstraction of electricity.
The new guideline will place emphasis on the court having regard to the broader impact of the theft on the victim when deciding sentence.
Richard Monkhouse, National Chairman of the Magistrates’ Association, said:
“Theft is one of the most frequent offences dealt with in the Magistrates’ Court and they are highly varied. Likewise, the impact on victims is equally as varied, ranging from financial loss to reduced confidence. It’s well worth noting that shops and small businesses trying to make a living feel this the most acutely.
The new guideline, which has been issued following a public consultation, will come into effect on 1 February 2016.