Theft Offences: assessing the impact of the definitive guideline
The Sentencing Council has completed an assessment of the impact of the Theft Offences Definitive Guideline. The guideline, which came into force in February 2016, includes six guidelines for sentencing theft offences:
- general theft
- theft from a shop or stall
- handling stolen goods
- going equipped for theft or burglary
- abstracting electricity
- making off without payment.
The assessment found that there have been changes in sentencing practice since the guideline came into force but for most offences analysed there is no clear-cut evidence that the guideline caused these effects. The Council has decided to continue to monitor the trend over time before deciding on whether or not to revisit the guideline.