45% of all thefts on the London Underground are people having their mobile phones stolen

Other names for theft

Other names for theft include: stealing, five finger discount, clepto, hustle, scam, fraud, rob, take, jacking, shoplift, burgle, jook, mugging, pickpocketing, shoplifting, housebreaking.

What is theft?

Theft is taking something that isn’t yours, e.g. shoplifting or stealing cars.   

  • The more valuable the thing you steal is, the more trouble you’ll be in.
  • Theft is more serious if you plan it beforehand.
  • Acting as a look out for someone who is stealing makes you part of the theft.
  • You don’t have to steal something to be found guilty.
  • If you leave a café or a taxi on purpose without paying, you could be charged with theft.

Going equipped?

Going equipped means carrying something in public that you could use to help you steal, e.g. a crowbar or screwdriver.

What is hustling?

Hustling or ‘obtaining by deception’ is when you trick someone to get something dishonestly, e.g. using a credit card that doesn’t belong to you.

What does burglary or housebreaking mean?

Burglary or housebreaking also counts as theft but is when you steal from a building, e.g. someone’s house or a school. When it comes to burglaries - a relatively small number of offenders are responsible for a large number of burglaries. Many are committed on the spur of the moment, rather than being planned in advance.


What is robbery?

Robbery is when you use/threaten to use force to steal. It’s more serious than theft and you can be guilty of robbery even if you’re just part of a group that robbed someone.

Handling stolen goods

Handling stolen goods is when you keep, buy or sell something that’s been stolen, e.g. if someone offers you an iPhone for £10, it’s probably stolen. 

What is metal theft?

Due to the high scrap value of copper cable there has been a steady increase in it being stolen and sold to metal recyclers as scrap cable. This type of crime can have an impact to hundreds if not thousands of people wanting to use the telephone network.

Cable theft is not a victimless crime; stealing telephone cable from either under the ground or from poles can leave you and your community without phones, TV or broadband. This could mean NO access to emergency services, friends and family, Facebook, Twitter, mobile phones and on-line gaming – all because someone has stolen some cable

Copper cable is worthless if it cannot be sold on. The Police, BT and Scrap Metal recyclers all check for stolen cable and cable thieves can be prosecuted. 

Give information about theft

If you have any information about theft, be fearless and let us know anonymously.

In 2011, retail crime cost the UK £5,429 million

What is shoplifting?

Shoplifting is a type of theft. It is when you steal items from a shop without paying for them.

How do shops prevent shoplifters?

Many shopping centres and stores hire security guards to prevent and control shop lifters. Stores often operate a zero tolerance policy. This means no matter what item is stolen from a shop they will report it to the police.

Who pays for the goods that are stolen?

We all do. When shops lose out on money they need to find a way to earn this back. One option is to increase the cost of the items in their store – meaning we have to pay for it when we next do our shopping.

What happens if i get caught shoplifting?

If you are caught by a security guard shoplifting you will almost certainly be banned from ever shopping at that store again! You may also be given a Civil Recovery Notice – this note is from the store and outlines how they plan to recover the money that they have lost through your actions.

People ages 16+ may also face a £80 fixed fine called a Fixed Penalty ticket.

Give information about shoplifting

If you have information about shoplifting, be fearless and let us know anonymously.

On average a car is stolen or broken into once every 25 seconds

Other names for joyriding?


What is joyriding?

To joyride is to drive around in a stolen car, boat or other vehicle with no particular goal, joyriding is a ride taken solely for pleasure. The vehicle is usually then abandoned.

Joyriders tend to be aged between 16 and 25, but are sometimes as young as 10.

Joyriding is sometimes overlooked as a serious crime, but imagine if your parents urgently needed to get somewhere, perhaps for medical reasons and their car had been stolen.

After homes, cars tend to be a person's most valuable possession.

You can be found guilty of joyriding if you:

Are driving a stolen vehicle

Are a passenger in a vehicle you know has been stolen (You don't even have to be the driver)

Are in a vehicle you didn't know was stolen

Reasons people joyride?

  • Peer pressure - pushed in to doing it by so called 'friends'
  • Showing off in front of friends
  • An adrenaline rush
  • Boredom

Consequences of joyriding?

As joyriders often don't have a valid driving licence, they are likely to be dangerous drivers. Dangerous driving leads to deaths, minor and major injuries.

If caught joyriding, you will get a criminal record, so the day you are old enough to apply for a driving licence, applying will be made very hard for you; you may not be able to until you are 21, (not 17 like your mates who didn't joyride) you may have to pay high rates of insurance and may already have points placed on your licence even before you have legally driven a car.

You will have to pay a fine

If you cause an accident, you will have to pay for the damage yourself, instead of the insurance company. This will be very expensive.

Facts and figures

  • A quarter of cars that have been involved in joyriding have never been recovered.
  • Joyriding is illegal in most places around the world, including the UK.
  • Proper insurance is needed when driving someone else's car and a valid driving licence is needed too.
  • A stolen car is 2000 times more likely to be involved in an accident than a legally owned one.
  • Less than 10% of valuables stolen from cars are ever recovered.
  • Car theft makes up over 30% of all reported crime.
  • One quarter of stolen cars are never recovered.
  • Statistics show that at 40 miles per hour, 100% of people hit by joyriders are killed, at 30mph 50% are killed and at 20mph, 5% are killed.

What is the punishment for joyriding?

If caught joyriding you could be faced with a fine of up to £5,000

The maximum prison sentence when caught joyriding is 6 months behind bars, but a sentence of up to 14 years could be handed if a death had been caused by joyriding

As most joy riders don't have a licence, they could be permanently disqualified from driving

What to do if you know someone is/has been joyriding?

If you have information about joyriding, be fearless and let us know anonymously.

Last year, 4 out of 5 CIT criminals were caught in London, and sentenced to an average of 4 & 1/2 years

What about the CIT staff?

Being attacked can affect the life of the CIT courier as a victim. Although they are well trained to protect themselves, if an attack takes place they are unarmed, everyday people and a victim of crime.

Being robbed can have a serious impact on a person, even if they do not get physically hurt. They may experience psychological issues which can have a negative impact on their career and personal life, sometimes affecting their relationship with family and friends.

What happens if you get caught committing a CIT robbery?

If you get caught trying to steal from CIT couriers you will be arrested. It could have a huge impact on your life, your friends and your family. CIT robbery is treated as a very serious offence and getting caught means you will be charged. This could happen even if you are underage and its your first offence.

It's worth remembering that even if you are not committing the actual offence but are contributing to it by being a look-out you could be charged as well.

If you are convicted of commiting CIT robbery it will stay on your record for a significant period of time. This may cause you problems seeking employment and could prevent you from applying for jobs or even travelling abroad!

Did you know?

CIT suppliers are always looking at different ways to protect the money against criminals. The cash boxes (like the one in the picture) have protected systems that damage the notes when you try to open them.

The latest boxes even use glue, which sticks the notes together meaning you will be unable to use the money anywhere. Another technology that the industry uses is a unique invisible taggant, which gets sprayed onto you if you try to open the box.This liquid will stick to your skinand clothing, which can then be linked directly to a particular crime via unique DNA information in the liquid.

This method ha been used in court cases against CIT criminals and so far has a 100% conviction rate!

Give information about CIT robbery

If you have information about CIT robbery, be fearless and let us know anonymously.

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