Shoplifters and petty criminals who steal groceries or sweets will face on-the-spot fines under new measures due to be announced by the Government tomorrow.

Police will be encouraged to punish thieves and vandals with £80 fines in an extension of fixed-penalty notices, which are already being used for litter louts and graffiti yobs.
The initiative is part of a drive by ministers to impose an additional 50,000 on-the-spot fines on offenders every year by 2007. The measures have been criticised as an attempt to widen the criminal justice net.

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