October 11th, 2008

Tough on…something

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

Recent reports from the Home Office indicated that they were going to get tougher on offenders caught in possession of knives.

This year has seen record amounts of fatal stabbings particularly of teenagers in London.

Investigations have revealed precious little evidence of any offenders being sentenced to the maximum prison term.

An article in the October issue of ‘Police Life‘ reveals what this tougher action will consist of.

Anyone who is convicted of a knife-related offence who is unemployed & sentenced to the maximum 300 hours of community service (or ‘community payback’ as it’s now being called) will complete their sentence in intensive blocks of up to 5 days a week.

The Home Office believes that this will represent a significant loss of liberty & free time & there will be “continued tough consequences” for not turning up. It doesn’t say what those tough consequences are but I’m not sure I’ve seen any evidence of toughness so far.

Justice minister David Hogan (who he?, Ed) said: “Offenders sentenced to pay for their crimes within the community can already expect to work hard & lose much of their free time. By introducing an intensive five days a week payback (that word again) for many knife crime offenders we are further toughening these punishments.”

He went on to say that initially this will only affect “the small number of knife crime offenders who are given the largest community payback sentences instead of custody.”

The tough on knife crime stance doesn’t really sound so tough, does it?

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