All over the world, jails and prisons are highly populated with shoplifters. Making shoplifting a misdemeanour would free-up the courts time, Saving the judicial system billions.
I would propose that when someone is caught shoplifting, the police are called to attend, and the attending police officer would give the shoplifter an on-the-spot-fine. That fine would be a minimum of £100.00 for the theft of any item(s) between 0.01p to £100.00. The fine would be £200.00 for the theft of any item(s) between £100.01 and £200.00 and £300.00 for the theft of any item(s) between £200.01 and £300.00. And so. This fine system would illiminate any confusiion as to what the penalty whould be for the offense.
The police officer could take the shoplifter's fingerprints at the scene and collect the pertinent details of the shoplifter. And should the shoplifter not pay the fine, then the charge could be processed through the courts.
I feel that fining shoplifters on-the-spot would put much needed funds back into the justice system. And most people that shoplift do so not out of necessity but out of greed.
I also feel that most people would rather pay a fine than get a criminal record. And I know this idea will get a huge thumbs-down by those who profit legally from those who shoplift.
In Canada, The Hudson’s Bay Company takes shoplifting one step further, they also charge the shoplifter a $300.00 processing fee. If the shoplifter does not pay the fee, The Hudson's Bay Company refers the debt to a collection agency.