From: Derek Stocker, Duke Street, Bexhill
We seem to be under the impression that there is a crime epidemic in the UK and I am sure we all know the reason why.
Too few, too short sentences, little punishment and zero deterrent. That is really “end of” except for one thing, there is absolutely no idea by the courts how to handle crime in the UK now.
Anything that can be done to keep people out of prison in the UK is followed religiously and we are therefore seeing some of the most impotent sentences for crime in the civilised world.
One of the favourite subjects in these debates is the carrying of knives, it seems that so many people feel unsafe on our streets that they must arm themselves and have the opinion that ‘if the law won’t protect me, I will protect myself’.
Unfortunately, the messages about carrying a blade are far from clear and even conflicting as proved by an article in Observer of Friday, July 21, 2017 stating that in a planned campaign to discourage children from current or future offending they are being informed that if you are caught carrying a knife you can expect a prison sentence of up to five years.
In these messages to people it is always a case of “up to”.
If you want to send out a real message why not make it “minimum of” for a real impact. Sadly, that message is then knocked into a cocked hat on the very same page when someone found with a knife attracted just a six month sentence. It is this type of inconsistency that makes the criminal justice system in the UK so farcical if it was not so very serious.