The law on criminal damage is contained in the Criminal Damage Act 1971. This created a complete code for this area of the law, just as the Theft Act 1968 did for the law on theft. The Criminal Damage Act was the result of a report by the Law Commission, Offences of Damage to Property (1970) Law Com No 29. As well as codifying the law on criminal damage, one of the aims of the Law Commission was to bring the law in line with the law on theft, so far as was practicable. For this reason some of the words used in the Act are the same as the words used in the Theft Act 1968. The Criminal Damage Act creates four offences which are:
the basic offence of criminal damage; aggravated criminal damage; arson; aggravated arson.