Sunday, May 14, 2006

Whose Rights First

The seafront is tidy, the litter is being collected but there’s one more thing the people of Thanet would among the long list or priorities that concern us all. That’s law an order and a visibly effective and ‘zero tolerance’ criminal justice system.

Muggings, thuggings and vandalism are on the rise and are encouraged by a more relaxed licensing regime, if you listen to the argument of the Chief Constable of Kent. Local residents would be forgiven for thinking that matters were starting to spiral out of control and confidence in the criminal justice system to protect residents and deal swiftly and effectively with the perpetrators, appears from comments on this website, to be at an all time low.

The Sunday Telegraph also reports today that “Ten thousand crimes are being committed every month by offenders on probation” and goes on to write: “The British public is increasingly worried by judgments whose effect is to rank the "rights" of criminals higher than those of law-abiding citizens. As a result, the whole notion of human rights is becoming discredited. Rather than basic protections against arbitrary power, "human rights" are now seen as legal fictions that prevent the police, the intelligence services and other government agencies from doing what they believe needs to be done in order to safeguard the nation.”

Talk to anyone else and with an aircraft instead of a white van, I get around a bit, you’ll find that the worries of the people of Thanet are no different to those to the people of Newport, where I was yesterday afternoon or anywhere else in the country. As one woman, in Wales yesterday, commented, “we pay more and more tax but are streets are full of thieves.”

A sociologist might argue that the 19th century streets were a great deal more violent than the streets of today but there’s an overriding sense among the community that we’ve lost control of our ability to deter crime at all, with the normally law-abiding first offender fast-tracked through the legal system, while the scum responsible for a constant background hum of low-intensity but socially impactful crime, walk free or are simply untouchable because they are too young or have “issues.”

Tell me I’m wrong.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are not wrong.
While I believe from my experience that Thanet Police are ineffective its not all their own fault.
Officers with whom I have discussed antisocial crime and vandalism feel that even if they make arrests and devote time and effort to catching the youths then either the CPS won't prosecute, or the magistrates or judges will often not hand down a proper and effective deterrent sentence in court.
If the youths do get a custodial sentence then because of prison overcrowding they are released early and think they have got away with it yet again.
They just laugh at the police and criminal justice system.

All we can do is build ever increasing numbers of larger jails, not a pleasant prospect, and also implement a rule which exists in Northern Australia and the USA - commit 3 crimes and you are locked up for life.
Few criminals take the risk of further crime after being convicted twice.
Now that works, but its expensive to implement and in any case I cannot see the bleeding heart liberals who seem to run our society going for it.

Anonymous said...

The primary duty of any Govt is to protect its citizens from threats to their safety and wellbeing at home or from abroad.
If that means building more prisons, repealing Human Rights legislation, removing anonymity from minors and locking more people up, then it must be done. This Govt has failed dismally in its primary responsibility and people are at last waking up to this fact.
The 10,000 foreigners out of 70,000 of those banged up, illustrates Govt failing in stark terms and explains why dangerous criminals are bailed, released early and in some cases not even prosecuted; not enough room at the "inn". If law abiding tourists have no bed for the night, we build hotels or in TDCs case allow caravan sites to spread out over rural areas. By building more prison space we extend the same courtesy to our criminal tourists and thus have enough space to remove the our own criminal scum of the streets.

worm said...

Might want to have a look here:

[url]http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/04/27/uporn.xml[/url]

I'm sure it's not representative though.