Laser shock peening offers potential advantages over conventional peen technologies in terms of the depth of the residual stresses that can be induced, and improvements in surface roughness. In this study the application of laser peening to thin aluminium plates such as are used in aerospace applications is investigated. Peening of thin plates presents challenges in balancing the peen intensity to prevent overpeening that will actually lower the stress field. Strain profiles for different laser peening parameters were obtained using synchrotron X-ray diffraction at the ESRF, France. Results are presented and discussed of the residual strain profiles in terms of the laser power density and the number of peen passes. When the power density and number of passes are increased the compressive strain magnitudes are also increased, as has been observed in previous studies. However, the strain components longitudinal and transverse to the peen line are not identical to each other, with the transverse component being much less compressive.