Our politicians have let us down when it comes to ‘justice’ haven’t they? It is always a major plank though in their election speeches isn’t it – ‘Law & Order’? But they never deliver in practice do they?
Oh yes, officially crime is falling and the statistics (except for sexual offences & shoplifting of course) prove it, don’t they? Well people have given up reporting crime that doesn’t get investigated, don’t report crime that might cause themselves problems, and the police don’t count crimes if they can avoid it apparently. We have starved our justice system of cash, so we have ended up with the least competent prosecutors while the criminals employ the best defenders – as a consequence many crimes don’t reach Court and if they do the results are dire and surprise-surprise only a few percent generate prison sentences.
There are three main aspects in dealing with criminals. First and foremost is to discourage criminal activity; secondly to without fail catch the blighters; and thirdly punish them ALL in an effective manner that teaches them the lesson that society will not tolerate their behaviours.
Where you live can determine whether you are likely to be a victim of some crimes and predictably the capital London is a bit of an iffy place, particularly regarding violence & mugging, and everywhere poorer communities and rundown estates are unsurprisingly also over-inhabited by the criminally inclined.
So how are we really doing in the UK then? Most of us live in fear of some sort of crime these days don’t we? Our very trust is shaken and our beloved Bobby has long since gone as our local feel good factor.
Criminal activity has become a way of life in many communities & families – it is handed down like a skill or a trade from father to son and from mother to daughter. Far from being discouraged it festers away in our society contaminating others like a rotten apple in a barrel.
We have done away with strong harsh punishments like cold wet dungeons with bread & water, transportation, birching, hanging, poor food, smashing rocks, making mailbags, slopping-out cells, and anything else that really hurts or upsets criminals. We have replaced all that with so called ‘community service’ (a useless minor irritation to any criminal), ‘suspended prison sentences’ (looks bad on the CV and that is all), ‘open prison’ sentences (where they have to sign the late book if they are back in their room later than the pubs closes), and ‘normal prison’ sentences (which means that they have virtually unlimited access to drugs, hooch, multi-gyms, TVs, games consoles, phone cards, games rooms, visitors (bringing in contraband), mobile phones, and of course a specially chef selected diet of quality food (often giving them a better quality of life in goal than they can get outside?). The prison reformers have been able to turn our places of incarceration into pseudo-holiday camps, haven’t they?
We of course have to build and maintain prisons to lock-up such criminals in (but we have only got well under a hundred-and fifty of them) – at a cost say of a hundred and twenty-five thousand pounds per criminal place. Apart from the price tag of the crime itself, we also suffer the massive cost of catching and convicting criminals, then we are faced with keeping someone in prison – it costs US all in the order of say forty or fifty thousand pounds a year. So someone going ‘inside’ for say rape for two & a half years (only half of a five year sentence you see?), will have landed us will a total bill of a couple of hundred grand– does that sound like the criminal involved has paid their debt to society?
In the past quarter of a century the British prison inmates have doubled (while the population itself has only gone up by a quarter), and the ‘do-gooders’ suggest that we are overdoing it. Perhaps though it is telling us that our justice system isn’t working, don’t you think? Perhaps it is telling us that criminality is increasingly growing in our midst? Perhaps it is telling us that the bad apples no longer worry about getting caught? Perhaps it is telling us that the law’s punishment is totally un-feared? Perhaps it is telling us that so called ‘rehabilitation’ programmes are simply pie-in-the-sky mirages (nearly half or more of the critters reoffend and are re-convicted even within a year)? The UK has more prisoners per head of population than any other European country – doesn’t that clearly demonstrate that our prisons aren’t working?
The way it is going the criminal sector are with us forever now, don’t you think? It is said that ex-prisoner re-offending is decimating our economy to the tune of at least £10,000,000,000 a year. The current justice system is no longer fit for purpose, is it?
Overcrowding in our institutions surely means building more prisons, and not sending less people to prison nor having them all serving half sentences – when they have neither been rehabilitated nor mended their ways, surely?
So what is the real problem here then? Drugs of course, for a start. Then there is mental illness on top of that. The criminal fraternity are predominately suffering from both of those afflictions. How has the justice system tackled those issues and problems then? Not at all you might conclude? Unless it does so, it will continue to go down the pan, surely?
What can be done immediately and simply with a bit on money and quick law changes? Zero tolerance of criminal behaviour, particularly by the young. Parents to be held liable for the criminal actions of their minors. Full funding of law enforcement agencies so that criminals ‘know’ they are going to be caught. Offenders to be in a police cell the night they are apprehended and in front of a Court within 24 hrs & not given 3 months bail (justice delayed is justice denied – all types of cases get delayed typically for say four months and possible a year, squander millions). Those charged immediately provided with a Public Defender and not allowed to get months of legal aid for an expensive smart-arsed criminal orientated lawyer. All sentences to be served by prisoners in full. Prisons to mean punishment and not simply ‘loss of freedom’.
[Everyone knows that the UK Criminal Justice & Prison System needs major reform and that means money – the politicians say we can’t afford it (a few billion pound?), but actually surely we cannot ‘not’ afford it? (we can of course go to war and spend say over thirty billions in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Libya, in Syria, and other small scale ventures, can’t we?]