The Sentencing Council’s Consultation on sentencing for Shop Theft offences and the retention of short custodial sentences has been welcomed by the Association of Convenience Stores. 

ACS chief executive James Lowman, said: “Shop theft is one of the biggest operational challenges local shops face, with 70% of retailers having experienced shop theft in the last year. This is not a victimless crime, it has very serious implications for shop staff and a cumulative cost impact on the business.

“We recognise the need for Courts to have a range of sanctions to tackle shop theft, but it is important that short term custodial sentences are retained for dealing with persistent and violent shop thieves.”

ACS’ Crime Report 2014 showed that shop theft cost the convenience sector £44 million last year. The Sentencing Council’s consultation calls for evidence of their revised shop theft guidance used by Magistrates to determine sentences. Proposals include a new two-tier system for assessing the impact of shop theft based on value and wider business impact, such as criminal damage and loss of trade to the business.

The consultation closes on 26th June.