||<p>We recognise that shoplifting is not a victimless crime. It causes cost and disruption
to businesses, as well as damage to communities and consumers. We encourage all victims,
including shop workers, to report these crimes to the police so that they can be recorded
and dealt with accordingly.</p><p> </p><p>A report by the Centre for Social Justice
issued last year concluded that people addicted to heroin and crack cocaine account
for 70% of shop thefts. We are committed to ensuring the most vulnerable offenders,
including those with drug addictions, are able to access support at the right time.
This includes diverting offenders away from custody where appropriate.</p><p> </p><p>Out
of Court Disposals are one important tool available in addressing shop theft – they
allow the police to deal quickly and proportionately with low-level offending. Where
an Out of Court Disposal is appropriate, we encourage the use of disposals which have
a condition attached (be that rehabilitative, reparative, punitive or restrictive).
This can achieve rapid compensation and/or divert vulnerable offenders with substance
misuse or mental health issues into rehabilitative services to address the root causes
of their offending behaviour.</p><p> </p><p>We pay attention to trends and changes
in the use of Out of Court Disposals on an ongoing basis.</p>