MP Anne MacIntosh has criticised the government's "cavalier disregard" for retailers and their businesses after her Ten Minute Rule Bill on the appropriate use of fixed penalty notices for shop theft missed its second reading in the House of Commons due to other debates overrunning.

Her Bill, Theft from Shops (Use of Penalty Notices for Disorder) is intended to tighten the guidance on shoplifting so that fixed penalties are used only when dealing with first-time offenders and if the store manager agreed with the penalty.

The Bill also calls for fixed notices to be issued at a police station to emphasise the seriousness of the crime, and for offences to be recorded on the Police National Computer within 24 hours.

"In supporting the Bill, the government would have recognised the severity of shop theft, particularly caused by persistent and repeat offenders," said McIntosh. "By allowing ministers to talk out two earlier Bills, the government has badly let down retailers, storekeepers large and small, and the many other victims of retail crime.

"Retailers across the country will be hugely disappointed at the government's cavalier disregard for their losses due to the huge cost of shop theft."

Public affairs director for the Association of Convenience Stores Shane Brennan also expressed his disappointment. He said: "Shop theft is a serious issue and the government should be taking it more seriously. We hope that the Bill will be given time to be debated at the earliest opportunity."