Legislation: Theft Act 1968, s.1

Definition: Dishonest appropriation of property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the owner of the property.

Explanation: The property stolen must belong to someone, the stealer must intend to steal it and be dishonest in their intention.  Dishonesty is a two-part test:

  1. Were the actions of the defendant dishonest according to the ordinary standards of reasonable and honest people, and;
  2. If yes, did the defendant know those actions were dishonest according to those standards?

Mode of trial: Either way.

Maximum sentence: Level 5 fine and/or 6 months in the Magistrates’ Court, up to 7 years in the Crown Court.


Theft from a person – pick-pocketing.

Theft from a shop – taking items from a shop without paying.

Theft in breach of trust – an employee stealing from an employer.

CPS guidance can be found here

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  1. Pingback: Spot the Offence! | UK Criminal Law Blog

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