Papers And Originals

Mental Health Aspects of Shoplifting

Br Med J 1971; 3 doi: (Published 11 September 1971) Cite this as: Br Med J 1971;3:612
  1. T. C. N. Gibbens,
  2. Clare Palmer,
  3. Joyce Prince


    A ten-year follow-up of 886 shoplifters showed clear differences between women and men. Men tended to have previous convictions and to steal books (unknown in women). Of the 532 women nearly one third were foreign-born, and this group comprised 46% of offenders aged 17-30. The peak age among British women was 51-60.

    First offenders accounted for 80% of the women, and their reconviction rate was 11%; among those with any kind of previous conviction the rate was 50%. The rate of admission to hospital for women shoplifters is three times higher than average.


    • * This study was supported by a grant from the Nuffield Foundation. It is printed with permission of the Home Office, but permission does not imply agreement with the views expressed.