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Elements Of Property Offences In UK Essay


In most societies today, property offences have become prevalent in most courts of law. There have been cases of property offences here and there in most countries of the world. United Kingdom is not exceptional when it comes to the issue of property offences; therefore, in this seminar presentation a succinct or close examination of property offences in the United Kingdom shall be the focus of our discussion. This will prepare the young and potential layers in colleges for their impending mock law examination. Thus, this paper is a pathway to success in the area of criminal law, as it will broaden the horizon of students stressing in criminal law, particularly in the area property offences.

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There are wide varieties or kinds of property offences under both the common law and the statue law as initiated by the parliament. Understanding of what is term common law becomes imperative here; the common law is the law which has been built up by judges making decisions over centuries. We refer to the judges’ law as “precedents”, which it is offer called in most courts today. Like the case above, understanding of property offences; the main statue law passed by the parliament of New South Wales which deals with property offences is the crimes Act 1900, which has been amended by the parliament many times since it was enacted.

Property offences thus involve extremely complicated relationships between the property itself, whose property it is and whether or not it is in someone’s possession, and what relationship or understanding there is between the accused and the victim about the property. It is therefore very important to take cursory examination of the various issues that can arise from property offences. This will provide enough insight and information to a better understanding of property offences.

The most common offences are larceny, receiving and malicious damage, which shall be treated below.

It is an offence under the Crime Act of 1900 in New South Wales to commit larceny. Thus the maximum penalty for such given by the statute is 5 years goal. The meaning or elements of the offence of larceny are governed by the common law, or judge-made law, which have built up over the years with judicial decisions. The elements of the offence of larceny are well established and have been summarized thus.

A person must without the consent of the owner, fraudulently and without claim of right made in good faith, take and carry away, anything capable of being stolen, with intent at the time of such taking permanently to deprive the owner of that property. As shown here, each of these elements contain facts which would have to be proven beyond reasonable doubts by the prosecution for the offence to be proved in court. A typical example is that if a person walks into a shop and takes a bag of rice from and walks out intending to keep the bag of rice for himself or herself, and without any permission or right to do so, that person is guilty of larceny.

Shop lifting is the most common form of larceny. However, if the facts are charged straightly, the prosecution cannot succeed. This means that if the person who took the bag of rice does not intend to permanently deprive the owner of the rice, then he does not commit larceny. If the bag of rice actually becomes to the person because he or she paid for it in the shop earlier that day and left it in the shop to be collected later, then there is no case of larceny because the person a claim of right and ownership. The variations on the facts are many and every case is haled depending on its own facts in the law court.


The actus reus-sometimes called the external element of a crime is a Latin term for the guilty act which, when proved beyond reasonable doubt in combination with the mens rea, i.e. the “guilty mind” produces criminal liability in common law-based on criminal law jurisdiction of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, England, Scotland, and the United States. According to Allen, Michael “In criminal law, mens rea—the Latin term for “guilty mind” is usually one of the necessary elements of crime.

The standards common law test of criminal liability is usually expressed in Latin phrase; actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea, which means that the act does not make a person guilty unless the mind is also guilty”. Thus in jurisdictions with due process, there must be an actus reus accompanied by some level of mens rea to constitute the crime with which the defendant is charged.

In this sense, mens rea refers to the mental element of the offence that accompanied the actus reus. In some jurisdictions, the terms mens rea and actus reus have been superseded by alternative terminology. However, there are four general classes of mens rea which its words may vary from one state to another. These include (1) intention (2) knowledge (3) Recklessness (4) negligence.


The Act 1960 (1968c. 60) is an act of the parliament of the United Kingdom, governing most of the general property offences in English law. On 15 January 2007, the Fraud Act 2006 came into force, repeating most of the offences f deception. Historically, the Theft Act 1960 resulted from the efforts of the Criminal Law Revision committee to reform the English law of Theft.

The Larceny Act 1916 had codified the common law, including Larceny itself, but it remained a complex web of offences. The intention of the Theft Act 1968, was to replace the existing law of larceny and other deception related offences, by single enactment, creating a more coherent body of principles that would allow the law to evolve to meet a new salvations. The Act was assented to on July 26th, 1968.

To understand Theft by Theft Act, the basic definition of theft itself becomes imperative.


In the criminal Law, theft (also known as stealing) is “the illegal taking of another persons property without that person’s freely-give consent. As a term, it is used as shorthand for all major crimes against property, encompassing offences such as burglary, embezzlement, larceny, looting, robbery, mugging, trespassing, shop lifting, intrusion, fraud (theft by deception) and sometimes criminal conversion”. Theft is offer considered to be synonymous with larceny. In this work, theft has replaced larceny. Therefore, someone who carries out an act o for makes career of theft known as a thief. Therefore, a person shall be guilty of theft if he dishonestly appropriate, property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it.



  1. ROBBERY = P.
  2. A person is guilty of robbery if he steals, and immediately before or at the time of doing so, and in order to do so, he uses force on any person or puts or seeks to put any person in fear of being there and there subjected to force. This means in a clear and simple term that the victim of such robbery is subjected to either physical or mental torture. This is a strategy employ by the robber to accompany his / her mission. In this case, a typical example is relevant. Take for instance, Mr. Johnson and Alfred entered a hotel with a gun and shot to the air to intimidate the customers and the workers, collected monies and other valuables from them, on their way out of the hotel, they were caught by the alerted patrol team of the police, in this situation Alfred and Mr. Johnson are guilty of robbery.
  3. A person guilty of robbery or of an assaults with intent to rob, shall on conviction on indictment be liable to imprisonment for life. This should be the case of Alfred and Mr. Johnson exemplified above.


  1. A person is guilty of burglary if:
  2. He enters any building or part of a building as a trespasser, he steals or attempts to steal anything in the building or that part of tit or inflicts or attempts to inflict on any person therein any grievous bodily harm.

  1. The offences referred to in sub-section 1(a) above are offences of stealing anything in the building or part of a building in question, of inflicting on any person therein any grievous bodily harm or (raping any person therein, and of doing unlawful damage to the building or anything therein.

iii.     A person guilty of burglary shall be on conviction on indictment be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding;

  1. Where the offence was committed in respect of a building or part of a building which is a dwelling fourteen years;
  2. In any other case, ten years.
  3. References in subsections (1) and (2) above to a building, and the reference in subsection (3) above to a building which is a dwelling, shall apply also to an inhabited vehicle or vessel, and shall apply to any such vehicle or vessel at times when the person having a habitation in it is not there as well as at times when he is.

A good example of a person who seems to be guilty of burglary is established thus;

Mr. Ali broke into Mr. John’s room, while he is away in Germany, on leaving, the security caught him, and dragged him to the court; John Mr. Ali’s action, he is guilty of burglary and is liable to face the charges and all the penalties.


  Any property acquire without the consent of the own through any form of dubious means is said to be a crime. Take for instance, it a vehicle is taken with the consent of the owner, it is said to be legal, however when consent if ignored, it is then said to be deception. Another good example is when one put up a force identity to hire a car. This overlaps with the 15 offences of obtaining property or services by deception. Taking by force may be robbery when defendant did not intend the victim to recover the car at all or so seriously damaged that it amounts to theft. It the evidence is insufficient for theft, the alternative charges are aggravated vehicle taking or blackmailing under S21. “Note that S12 (7) protects the interest of people hiring or buying under a hire purchase agreement deeming them to be the owner for the purposes of S12”. http.//en/wikipedia.org/wiki/IWOCH/ without the consent of the owner.


Forgery is the process of making or adapting objects or documents 9see false document), with the intent to deceive. The similar crime of fraud is the crime of deceiving another including through the use of objects obtaining through forgery. Copies, studios replies, and reproductions are not considered forgeries, though they may later become forgeries through knowing and willful misattributions.

In the 16th century imitators of Albrecht Durer’s style of print making improved the market for their own prints by signing them “AD”, making them forgeries.

In the 20th century the art market made forgeries highly profitable. There are widespread forgeries of especially valued artists, such as drawings meant to be by Picasso, Nee, and matisse. This usage of “forgery” does not derive from metal work done at “forge”, but it has a parallel history. A sense of “to counterfeit” is already in the Anglo-French verb forger “falsify”. Forgery is one of the techniques of fraud, including identity theft. Forgery is one of the threats that have to be addressed by security engineering.

A forgery is essentially concerned with a produced or altered object. Where the prime concern of forgery is less focused on the object itself – what it is worth or what it proves” – than on a tacit statement of criticism that is revealed by reactions the object provokes in others, then the larger process is a hoax. In a hoax, a rumor or a genuine object “planted” in a concocted situation, may substitute for a gorged physical object.


Obtaining a money transfer by deception (1) alter section 15 of the (1968 c. 60) theft Act 1968 insert – “is a obtaining a money transfer by deception

  1. A person is guilty of an offence if by any deception he dishonestly obtains a money transfer for himself or another.
  2. A money transfer occurs when –
  3. a debit is made to one account
  4. a credit is made to another account
  5. the credit results from debit results from the credit
  6. References to a credit and to a debit are to a credit of an amount of money and to a debit of an amount of money.
  7. It is immaterial (in particular) –
  8. whether the amount credited is the same as the amount debited
  9. whether the money transfer is effected on presentment of cheque or by another method
  10. whether any delay occurs in the process by which the money transfer effected.
  11. Whether any intermediate credits or debits are made in the course of the money transfer.
  12. Whether either of the accounts is overdrawn before or after the money transfer is affect.
  13. A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable in conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding tem years. 15 B section 15A: supplementary (1) the following provisions have effect for the interpretation of section 15A of this Act.
  14. “Deception” has the same meaning as in section 15 of this Act.
  15. “Account means an account kept with –
  16. a bank or
  17. a person carrying on a business which falls within subsection (4) below
  18. A business falls within subsection if –
  19. in the curse of the business money received by way of deposit is lent to others; or
  20. any other activity of the business is financed wholly or to any material extent, out of the capital of r the interest on money received by way of deposit.
  21. For the purpose of subsection (4) above –
  22. all the activities which a person carries on by way of business shall be regarded as a single business carried on by him; and
  23. “money” includes money expressed in a currency other then sterling in the European currency unit (as defined in council regulation N. 3320/94/EC or any community instrument replacing it”.
  24. Nothing in this section has effect in relation to anything done before the day on which this act is passed.
  25. Dishonesty retaining a wrongful credit (1) after section 24 of the theft Act 1968 insert – 24 a dishonestly retaining a wrongful credit (1) A person is guilty of an offence if –
  26. a wrongful credit has been made to an account kept by him or in respect of which he has any right or interest.
  27. He knows or believes that the credit is wrongful; and he dishonestly fails to take such steps as are reasonable in the circumstances to secure that the credit is cancelled.
  28. References to a credit are to a credit of an amount of money.
  29. A credit to an account is also wrongful if it is the credit side of money transfer obtained contrary to section 15A of this Act;

The few sited examples should do as they have clearly established the meaning of deception in the case of money transfer.

Conclusively thus, this piece of work is a pathway to a great success in the area of criminal law in relation to students who are preparing for their mock examination. In this regards, the student of criminal law, at the end this seminar paper presentation will be sure that they won’t be ridiculed by any kind of question that might likely confront them. Thus, this paper is a total and holistic review of Theft by Theft Act of 1968 under the U.K criminal law. The paper thus is an eye opener to the students as many thing, would become quite clear to them.


  1. Allen Michael (2005) Criminal Law. Oxford. Oxford University Press.
  2. //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TWOC without the content of the owner.

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Elements Of Property Offences In UK. (2017, Feb 17). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/elements-of-property-offences-in-uk-essay

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