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Is Shoplifting a Criminal Act in Australia?

Posted On : Oct-09-2019 | seen (66) times | Article Word Count : 413 |

The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research report also states that the rates of stealing from retail stores rose 7.9 per cent over the previous five years
According to The Australia and New Zealand Retail Crime Survey 2019, “Australian and New Zealand retailers reported a staggering $3.37 billion in crime-related losses in the 2017-18 financial year.” 57 per cent or $2.6 billion of inventory loss (termed ‘shrinkage’) in 2017-18 is attributed to shoplifting by customers, an increase of 16 per cent over the previous two years. The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research report also states that the rates of stealing from retail stores rose 7.9 per cent over the previous five years. The increasing number of these incidents is ranked second only to indecent assault and sexual offences. Some criminal lawyers in Sydney believe that shoplifting is not a serious crime in Australia, but the cost of sending offenders to court costs money. Moreover, retailers pass on the costs to customers in an attempt to recoup their losses where customers are pushed to pay the price of shoplifting.


Shoplifting is an act of stealing in which a person indulges in the act of taking an item from a store without paying for it. In Australia, shoplifting is a summary offence, and the most common punishment to this action is a penalty. If the offender repeats the same action, he or she will also face jail time. Based on the value of the goods stolen, the punishment and jail time will vary.

In most cases of shoplifting, police can choose to issue an on-the-spot fine (or infringement notice) under section 74A of the Crimes Act 1958 instead of charging you with a crime if the value of stolen good is below $600, you caught shoplifting for the first time, or you compensate the shop owner for the value of goods.

Does Shoplifting Go On Your Criminal Record?

If you pay the fine for your shoplifting, there will not be a criminal conviction recorded against you on your criminal record. But, if you are charged with a theft of property valuing more than $100,000, you will have to appear before the court. The conviction of shoplifting will stay on your criminal record forever if you plead guilty and it cannot be removed. So, if you are caught shoplifting, it is wise to get legal advice from the best criminal lawyers in Sydney and represent you and plea-bargain the shoplifting charge to "Littering."

Visit now, the leading group of Sydney criminal defence lawyers to know more details.

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The author of this article is one of the leading criminal lawyers in Sydney with over a decade of experience in practising law. In this article, he explains the consequences of shoplifting under Australian criminal act. Visit for more information.

Keywords : criminal lawyers in Sydney, best criminal lawyers in Sydney, Sydney criminal defence lawyers,

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