FAQ Theft and Shoplisting
In Scotland, theft is defined as ‘the taking or appropriating the property of another without the true owner’s consent and with the intent to deprive the owner of that property.’ While this may seem like a fairly black and white definition, in reality, it has many shades of grey. Theft can also be ‘aggravated’, that is to say, the gravity of the offence can be worsened by the addition of some other factor such as housebreaking.
It is possible to commit theft by finding property and neglecting to return it – even if you intend to return the property in question. As such, you may be charged with theft even if you are completely innocent. To find out exactly where you stand, contact us now.
Shoplifting in Scottish Criminal Law
Although recorded crime in Scotland showed a downward trend overall for the year 2017-18, shoplifting actually increased by 9%, and almost two-thirds of Scottish local authorities recorded an increase in shoplifting for the year. Graham Walker Solicitors provide the comprehensive support that’s needed throughout most of Scotland if you’re facing a charge for shoplifting.
About shoplifting in Scotland
Statistics published by the Scottish police show that much of this surge in shoplifting is due to desperation as people just don’t have enough money to live on. This is leading to increases in the numbers of people caught stealing foods in supermarkets. The Scottish government blames much of this increased shoplifting on welfare reforms carried out by the UK government.
A pilot scheme to identify shoplifters in this sort of situation is currently being trialled in North Lanarkshire with a view to signposting these people towards social service support rather than local courts.
The police say this new arrest referral scheme will offer more assurances that the police actually arrest the “bad people, not poor people.” North Lanarkshire is one of the poorest, most deprived areas in Scotland, and much of the rise in what the police term “destitute shoplifting” is down to mothers stealing food to feed their children. The council confirmed there was almost a 50% rise in shoplifting cases between April and June 2018.
What happens if you are caught shoplifting?
If you’re caught shoplifting, you could potentially face being arrested or even put in prison. It is possible that you could be in prison for up to seven years if the goods stolen have a value of more than £200. Convictions for stealing goods worth less than £200 can be for up to six months.
Being prosecuted for shoplifting also means you will be labelled with a criminal record, which can hamper your employment prospects in the future. You will still have a criminal record even if you accept a caution for a shoplifting offence as this counts towards a criminal conviction. This is the reason we recommend you take advice from an expert solicitor at the time.
Our knowledgeable lawyers are experts in criminal law and theft/ robbery charges, and we offer all the support you need to help you handle any charge and can provide representation on your behalf. Give us a call today to find out more.
Charged with shoplifting, the amount was less than a threshold and they spoke to the PF and I did not have to go to court. Relieved. Did the legal aid forms for me as I am on Benefits
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