Philip Davies - awake
But the other 649 are still taking their sleeping tablets.
Tory MP for Shipley, Philip Davies has been asking a lot of questions regarding sentencing of persistent offenders. Despite what I and other bloggers have been saying for ages, he has been shocked by some of the answers he has received. Only a third of persistent offenders with 15 or more convictions are being sentenced to imprisonment on further conviction.
He also asked questions about those charged with assaulting police and was also shocked to find a man with 462 convictions and cautions, 31 for assault on police was not jailed for a further charge of assault on police. A similar offender had 241 previous convictions, 36 for assault on police, and he wasn't jailed either. A female offender with 78 convictions, 31 for assault on police, was not jailed.
The prisons are bursting at the seams. We don't effectively deal with persistent offenders and so they carry on offending until they do something so serious (murder, rape, GBH etc.) that we have to jail them for a long time. Community punishments are almost completely ineffective and are treated as a joke by persistent offenders. The 'Justice' Minister, Kenneth Clarke, has made it clear that we will be having more not less community punishments as we cannot afford to lock up any more offenders.
Readers of this blog will know that I do not adhere to a policy of just locking people up and throwing away the key. Everyone deserves a chance and fines and community punishments can be effective for some low level offending. Community punishments need to be far more effective with deterrent and rehabilitative elements. Offenders who continue to offend need to go to jail. Jails likewise should have punitive and rehabilitative elements. People with more than 15 convictions should automatically receive the maximum penalty for that offence unless there are exceptional grounds to reduce.
The Government says we cannot afford this investment. If you don't want crime increasing again. if you don't want to live in a society where there is no respect for anyone. If you don't want more riots a la last August, we cannot afford not to invest.