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Tickets For Shop Thieves

by msecadm4921

Despite private security fears of offenders going for broke, police across London have extended new powers to deal with nuisance crime and anti-social behaviour by targeting offenders’ pockets.

From November 1, 2004 the Metropolitan Police Service will roll out its Penalty Notices for Disorder scheme across London. The Met says it’s giving officers an additional method for dealing with offences such as shoplifting goods up to a value of £200 and criminal damage costing under £500. Penalty Notices for these and other offences will result in fines of either £80 or a £50 fine depending on the offence. There are private security fears that the fines, for what the police term ‘lower-level’ crime, effectively keeps shop thieves out of the criminal justice system and encourages thieves to steal up to the value of £200.

What they say

The scheme has also been extended to include 16 and 17 year olds, as previously piloted in Kingston and Tower Hamlets. Commander Alf Hitchcock said: "The Metropolitan Police Service recognises that anti-social behaviour is one of the main concerns for Londoners We are determined to tackle the nuisance offending and lower-level criminal behaviour which makes so many people’s lives a misery. Penalty notices will help us deliver an effective balance between a prompt police response and a continued ability to patrol, saving officers’ time and helping us keep officers on the beat.” Between April and September 2004, the MPS issued 5,339 penalty notices. Of these, only four per cent have resulted in requests for court hearings – demonstrating, says the Met, a substantial saving in police officer time spent processing the offence and attending court. Most penalty notices are given for breach of Section 5 of the Public Order Act (causing harassment, alarm or distress), drunk and disorderly and drunk in a public place.

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