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The plenary session of Congress increases the intimidating and dissuasive capacity of the Penal Code

Until now, thefts of less than 400 euros carry a fine, not jail

The plenary session of Congress approved this Thursday the criminal reform that will punish petty theft with prison sentences of up to 18 months when they are committed by repeat offenders. The text has been sent to the Senate to complete its processing and may be in force at the turn of the summer.

The reform has been included in the bill that passed the Government to set standards that facilitate the use of financial information for the prevention, investigation or prosecution of criminal offenses.

In the parliamentary process, and through an amendment to the PDeCAT agreed with the PSOE, a final provision was added that gives a new wording to the article 234 of Penal Code so that the thefts for a stolen value of less than 400 euros, that until now are only punished with a fine, can be sentenced with sentences of imprisonment from six to eighteen monthsprovided that the culprit has already been convicted of at least three crimes of this nature, even if they are minor.

The BNG, only vote against

The law has had the support of 190 deputies from the PSOE, United We Can, Esquerra, the PNV, the PDeCAT, Ciudadanos, Más País-Equo and Compromís, among other parties, while the PP, Vox, Bildu, the PDeCAT and the CUP have abstained. Only the BNG has voted against.

From the PDeCAT remember that this modification had been promised by several Ministers of Justice and the Interior for years, since “it has a high impact on the commerce, restaurant, tourism and security sectors of all citizens”.

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In his opinion, the change will allow “increase the intimidating and dissuasive capacity of the Penal Code” and “it will provide the administrations with more tools to fight against multiple recidivism in petty theft”.

“One can have the feeling that the people who commit these thefts stop them today and go out on the street tomorrow, and they continue with this activity almost as a ‘modus vivendi,'” says deputy Genís Boadella, responsible for Justice affairs at PDeCAT.

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