A debate on retail crime has taken place this week (November 5th), with Home Office minister Kit Malthouse saying he will carry out a review of the £200 threshold of prosecutions for shop theft offences if re-elected in the General Election on December 12th.

Mr Malthouse explained during the Westminster Hall debate that he would be looking into how appropriate the threshold is and the impact it has on small shops. At the moment, offences where goods below £200 are taken are viewed as a summary only, which means they’re not dealt with by the Crown Court, eligible instead for fixed penalty notices.

The Crime Survey 2019, carried out by the Association of Convenience Stores, found that retailers are dissatisfied with police responses to crimes against businesses, with 86 per cent saying they feel unhappy with the sanctions handed down to offenders. Some 85 per cent said they were unhappy with the consistency of police response.

James Lowman, chief executive of the ACS, said: “Retailers have become extremely frustrated with the lack of police response to incidents, which subsequently ends up with retailers not reporting crimes because they don’t believe anything will be done. The government needs to send a clear message that theft is unacceptable and will be dealt with by the police and wider justice system.”

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