§ Mr. Freeson
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prosecutions for shop theft have there been in each of the last five years; how many defendants pleaded guilty; and of those pleading not guilty what percentage were subsequently acquitted.
§ Mr. Mellor
[pursuant to his reply, 5 December 1983, c. 12]: The number of defendants proceeded against in 617W magistrates' courts for shoplifting is published annually in "Criminal Statistics, England and Wales" (Table 1.1(A) of the Supplementary volumes for 1982). Reliable information on pleas is not at present available.