A cross-party group of MPs has supported a Bill which could result in tougher penalties for shoplifters.

The motion, put forward by Conservative MP Anne McIntosh under the parliamentary 10-minute rule, calls for shop crime to be excluded from the list of offences dealt with using Penalty Notices for Disorder (PNDs).

McIntosh said PNDs were ineffective in dealing with shoplifting. “Using PNDs for shoplifting sends out the wrong message, as the shoplifter or thief is treated in the same way as a motorist is treated for outstaying their welcome at a parking meter. Tough and effective sentences are needed to fight this type of crime,” she added.

The motion stated that last year, 290,625 shoplifting incidents were recorded, but only 58,536 offenders were found guilty, and of these only 38,772 were given penalty notices. About 40% of the PNDs were not paid.

The Bill has passed its first reading and will return to parliament in October.