Tough on crime … really ?!

Heard it all before ?

The Government is getting tough on crime, especially since the riots … but will it last ?

As has been well publicized some pretty heavy sentences have been handed out as a result of the riots, but call us cynical, but many offenders will probably be quietly released long before the end of their sentence. We simply do not have the space in prisons and nor can we afford as a society to pay for more and more people to be in prison.

But is the government really serious about addressing crime and alternatives to prison ? If the latest news is anything to go by, we think not.

It has been announced that unemployed offenders will have to work a full week of unpaid work, possibly including hard labour, as part of new “tougher” community penalties or they won’t receive their benefits.

One whole week ! This is hardly going to stop a repeat offender from committing a crime, really it seems to us as laughable.

Perhaps more relevant and of greater impact on offenders, although it remains to be seen how civil law will interpret any possession claims bearing in mind the Human Rights Act is the action taken by at least one local authority, Southwark, in the wake of the riots. It has served notice on some tenants charged over recent rioting  warning they could be evicted from their homes if convicted.  We suspect this will probably not lead to evictions but is at least a more realistic way of penalising these people in a way which means something to them.