HC Deb 05 December 1985 vol 88 cc322-3W
Mr. Speller

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will seek powers to make housebreaking and theft from a home a serious arrestable offence; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Giles Shaw

Burglary and theft both carry sufficiently serious penalties to render them arrestable offences as defined by section 24 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. If in any particular instance the offence involved any of the consequences listed in section 116(6), it would count as a senous arrestable offence. Those consequences include causing substantial financial gain to any person, or serious financial loss to any person—and the section provides that loss is serious for these purposes if, having regard to all the circumstances, it is serious for the person who suffers it.

This approach recognises that the gravity of instances of an offence may vary greatly from case to case. It would not be right to add burglary and theft to the list in schedule 5 to the Act (which includes treason, murder and very serious sexual assaults) of offences which count in all circumstances as serious arrestable offences.