News type:

News topic:
Theft offences

Published on:

17 December 2020

Today, the Council has published data covering the factors taken into account when sentencing adult offenders for theft from a shop or stall, and details of the sentence imposed. We hope that users will find these datasets useful to conduct their own analysis. The publication can be found here.

This data was collected from magistrates’ courts before and after the publication of the new guideline in 2016 and was also used in the guideline evaluation which was published in February 2019. The datasets contain information on the culpability and harm factors taken into account by sentencers, details of any aggravating or mitigating factors (including previous convictions), information about the guilty plea where relevant, including the reductions applied, and details of the final sentence imposed. They also contain information on the single most important factor affecting the sentence, which magistrates and district judges were also asked to record.

There are separate datasets corresponding to the two waves of the data collection in 2015 and 2016. Offenders sentenced before the guideline came into force are in the “pre-guideline” data and offenders sentenced after the guideline came into effect are in the “post-guideline” data.

This is the first data release of its kind since the cessation of the Crown Court Sentencing Survey. The Council has moved to using bespoke targeted data collections in recent years to support guideline development and evaluation. It intends to publish additional data collections covering drug offences, robbery and other offences in due course.

Alongside the datasets, the Council has also published a suite of documents to aid in their comprehension. This includes a metadata document, a background quality report (which is an assessment of the quality of the datasets from a variety of different dimensions) and a disclosure statement.

We are seeking feedback from users on this data publication, with the view to implementing any possible changes to our planned future data publications. Feedback may be submitted via the user feedback survey until 17th March, found online here, or emailed at any point using