HC Deb 03 May 1934 vol 289 cc458-9
11. Lieut.-Colonel MOORE

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, in view of the increase of women shoplifters, any special steps are taken to investigate these cases from a pathological standpoint; and whether he will equally reconsider the law allowing shoplifters to keep the articles they have stolen?

The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Sir John Gilmour)

I know of no ground for thinking that any increase in offences of this type is due to pathological causes : but if in any case of shoplifting there is evidence that the offender is suffering from any mental illness, such evidence is given due consideration by the court. The law does not allow shoplifters to retain stolen property, and I do not know what is the point which my hon. Friend has in mind. Perhaps if he is aware of a difficulty in some special case, he will communicate the particulars to me.

Lieut.-Colonel MOORE

In view of the fact that so many of these cases are of women in a comfortable class of life, does not my right hon. Friend think it is more a mental than a social problem, and that some sort of investigation should take place, as I have suggested?


Will consideration be given to this matter, and will the right hon. Gentleman remind the shopkeepers in the large establishments that it is necessary to have more assistants attending to the stocks that are displayed, instead of having people walking about examining the stocks without supervision?


Would not the shopkeepers take umbrage at that suggestion?