The CPME is pleased to see shoplifting now punishable by a fixed fine of 300 euros


The President of the Confederation of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (CPME), François elin (left), and the Vice-President of the CPME in charge of social affairs, Eric Chevee, in Paris, July 12, 2023.

Published on July 6, the circular from the Minister of Justice had gone somewhat unnoticed, until the spotlight given this fall by the Confederation of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (CPME) which, in a press release on August 30 , was delighted to have obtained “win case” on the creation of a fixed tort fine of 300 euros to punish theft “of a thing whose value does not exceed 300 euros”.

THE “single flight” – expression ” shoplifting “ does not exist as such in the penal code – is punishable by three years’ imprisonment and a fine of 45,000 euros. The tort fixed fine (AFD) now opens up the possibility of a simplified procedure, allowing the police officer or gendarme who observes the offense (after the thief has been caught by a security guard or identified by video surveillance) to issue a direct penal sanction, without judge or trial, including in the event of recidivism. A bit like the fine issued to the motorist who has just burned a fire.

This, provided that the thief recognizes the facts and that he has returned the ” thing “ stolen, to the victim, to the merchant in the case of shoplifting.

“A measure that we have been asking for a long time”

“This is something we’ve been asking for for a long time. welcomes Xavier Douais, vice-president of the CPME in charge of trade. Because in fact, we do not sentence to prison for theft of a T-shirt! It often ends in a simple reminder of the law. So traders are discouraged from complaining [il y en a eu tout de même 41 000 en 2022]. Now, the thief, even if he returns the property, will still be clearly identified by the police. That seems deterrent to me. »

For him, it is the 14.7% increase in shoplifting in 2022 compared to 2021, according to figures from the Ministry of the Interior, which ended up convincing the Ministry of Justice. Some see it as a direct link with inflation and purchasing power difficulties. A figure however down 17% if compared with 2019, pre-Covid-19 and pre-inflation period, recalled The cross in March.

“The objective pursued is to provide a firm and rapid criminal response to the criminal phenomenon of shoplifting, m litigation, which today receives an unsatisfactory criminal response” specifies the doctrine of use of the circular. Which indicates that public prosecutors can define “according to local specificities” thresholds or objects to be excluded from recourse to the tort fixed fine such as ” foodstuffs “.

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