What's Wrong With The Criminal Justice System in the UK?

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posted on Jun, 29 2011 @ 11:53 AM
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I am getting increasingly frustrated by the criminal justice system in the UK, and the numbers of, what I consider to be, inappropriate sentences for crimes committed here.

If a person gets caught stealing £10,000 from a large company (without threatening or physically harming anyone) they will undoubtedly be jailed, but if they steal and trash my £10,000 car, drive like a maniac, putting many lives at risk, tying up valuable police resources - pursuit cars, helicopter & crews etc. they'll get a slap on the wrist, a warning, maybe penalty points on their driving license (which they might not even hold yet!!), and that's it.
They'll be back out on the streets, no doubt stealing cars again, in a matter of hours.

Why?

Well, in this case, it's mainly because the law in the UK incredibly doesn't class the taking of my car as theft!!!!
Theft is defined here, as taking something with the intention of "permanently depriving" the rightful owner of it, and the police apparently have difficulty PROVING that anyone taking a car, has the intention of permanently depriving the owner of it, so it's NOT CLASSED AS THEFT!! (It's classed as Taking Without the Owners Consent.) and as such, is considered as lesser crime.
LINK to wiki definition of Joyriding

The thief, sorry - car taker doesn't even have to reimburse me, for the cost of recovering, repairing or replacing my car!
(I have to pay via my car insurance... But what difference does it make if I'm insured? THEY still stole the car from me and THEY did the damage, I'm the victim, so why should I have to pay - even through my insurance?)


I don't understand why victims of crime, are left without help/counseling/compensation, when convicted criminals are offered (in certain circumstances) all three. (Did you know that over £1.6million was awarded in compensation to criminals in England and Wales alone over the last year, and that one convicted criminal, who self-harmed in a UK prison, was awarded £2.8million compensation in 2005/6?

LINK to story in the METRO

I think that the criminal justice system needs a complete overhaul.

I think that the foundation stone at it's heart should be the principal that the VICTIM of crime should NEVER be left without appropriate help, counseling, or financial reimbursement, where the criminal has been identified, tried, and found guilty of the crime.
The CRIMINAL should have to pay for any costs, losses incurred and damage done.
If he has insufficient funds, then his assets should be seized and sold, then he should be put to work by the state, doing whatever jobs he is deemed capable of - from hard physical labour, to cleaning toilets/sewers/grafitti - whatever, at an appropriate rate of pay, which should then be taken and used to help reimburse the victim.
Stealing a car would seem a lot less of a "joyride" if there was a real possibility of having to actually PAY for the value of the car AND any damage done whilst driving it!

You'd need to work out a table of appropriate compensation, for various crimes, but I'm sure it could be done.

Second, I don't agree with the current thinking that, once you've done your time, the slate is wiped clean.
The idea of convicting the perpetrator of a crime, is presumably to punish AND rehabilitate the offender? But too many released criminals go on to re-offend time and again.

I'd propose that minimum sentences and punishments for all crimes should be clearly defined, and that the minimum sentence for any crime should automatically be doubled each time a criminal re-offends.
In other words if I perform a criminal act which currently has a minimum sentence of 3 months jail time, the next time I get caught, it will come with a minimum term of 6 months, then 12, then 24 etc.
Pretty quickly, I'd get to a point where the punishment is far in excess of the rewards for my crime, so I'd have to consider doing smaller crimes or... god forbid, finding a non-criminal source of income!

What do you guys think? I know that it's not a complete solution to all the problems, but it would be a step to properly compensating the Victims and properly punishing (and rehabilitating) the Criminals.

GTD




posted on Jun, 29 2011 @ 12:40 PM
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I agree, the justice system here is beyond ridiculous, the way in which a graffiti artist can go down for two years in prison whilst rapists and dangerous people are released after two months, its a damn joke.



posted on Jun, 29 2011 @ 12:46 PM
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reply to post by TheSeYeR
 


Yep, did you hear about the burglar, released 1 month into his sentence, because his (5) kids were suffering?

This guy is a serial burglar with, from memory, 4 previous convictions? And he was supporting his kids with the proceeds of his crimes... he gets caught (again), locked up, and then released early, because he's no longer able to support his kids from inside????

I wonder what he's doing tonight?



posted on Jun, 29 2011 @ 02:51 PM
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reply to post by Gordi The Drummer
 


Its a hard truth but if you cant provide for your children then you will probably steal to provide for them, they clearly cant resolve the root of the issue and end up on a cycle that does nothing for no one. I cant figure why send him in the first place if your just going to remove him and the first point his children need help, i mean its good they are letting him out to help his children but surely there's a more beneficial solution to the issue on behalf of the entire community.



posted on Jun, 29 2011 @ 03:27 PM
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Originally posted by Gordi The Drummer
I am getting increasingly frustrated by the criminal justice system in the UK, and the numbers of, what I consider to be, inappropriate sentences for crimes committed here.



Frightening isn't it. Criminals seem to be running riot in the UK and reaping the rewards from all directions while victims are, well... just victims. Have you read any of Winston Smith's blog?
winstonsmith33.blogspot.com...


Monday, 13 June 2011

Its just like prison

A few weeks ago I accompanied an assortment of teenage rogues to a youth club where we punished them by means of video games, snooker, take away food and supervising them in a music studio where they had access to records that extoled the virtues of misogyny, gangsterism and drug abuse.





In the afternoon, I supervised a few of them as they played on a Wi console and a playstation. One of the lads, 17, who was on the Intensive Supervision and Surveillance Programme (ISSP) for his second time, told me he had no remorse for the students and other innocent young people whom he had violently mugged as they were only 'muppets'. I asked him how he would feel were he violently mugged by a stranger to which he replied "If any c**t did that to me I'd stab them."


My other half did a similar job for 12 years. Worked in a halfway house for young criminals who were non-stop, in and out of jail, and rewarded with free housing, new furniture, money, every time they got out. (that's not quite accurate, they did pay about £4 per week "surcharges")

Seen this in today's DailyMaul?

www.dailymail.co.uk...

'Give the public a rest': Female convict with 'truly appalling record' jailed for 229th offence



posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 12:26 PM
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reply to post by wigit
 


Hi Wigit,

I haven't seen Winston Smiths blog before, but it looks like a good read.
He certainly sees what we see; that there is little or no deterrent, little or no punishment and little or no rehabilitation in the current setup.

The Dailymail article you linked to, highlights exactly the sort of criminal that I'm talking about, when I say that repeat offenders should automatically have their minimum sentences doubled for each repeat offence.
229 convictions??? (and remember - that's just the times that she's actually been CAUGHT)

If she was looking at a 6 month sentence, then 12 months, then 24 months for subsequent crimes, it would only take another 4 or 5 crimes before she thought... "If I get caught again, I'm looking at being jailed for the rest of my LIFE for stealing a handbag, it's NOT worth it!"

I understand that some people could argue that the jails are full already and that numbers would increase if we lengthened minimum sentences, but I think that the opposite would soon prevail, as more and more criminals reolised that the crime wouldn't be worth the (repeat) time.
In the long run I think numbers in prison could actually decrease (and even if they didn't, then I still think we'd be better off as a society with all of these repeat offenders off the streets and locked up).

G



posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 12:34 PM
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Yes it is a joke, sentences are unnescessarily lenient and prison conditions in some places are extremely comfortable considering it's supposed to be a punishment.

However there is also the issue concerning the effect prison has on people, especially non-violent offenders. What's the use imprisoning someone for minor offences (like low level dealing of or growing cannabis etc) and then releasing them when once they're released they'll have no hope in hell of finding employment because no one wants to hire someone with a criminal record, they'll have a hard time renting a home and in many cases are inveitably forced to rely on benefits as well as resort to crime in order to make ends meet.
edit on 30-6-2011 by lifeissacred because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 12:44 PM
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The justice system is broken but can be fixed by hard work and good people.

A story: A close friend of mine was one of 7 girls aged (9-14) who was violently raped by an evil monster (I refuse to call it a man). The monster was found guilty on all counts and was handed a (can you believe this!) 6 year jail term. After the hearing outrage sweeped through my local town, almost to the point of riot.

After a long and dragged out appeal the monster was resentenced, and given an indefinite jail term. If it wasn't for the locals and the hard work of the DI's involed this monster would be walking the streets again by now.

ALS



posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 12:44 PM
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True story: About 5/6 years ago I received a wrong number text from a guy called "Jimmy". After striking up a very normal conversation I asked him who he was and where he was from. Well.
Jimmy was in prison for armed robbery. He even sent me a picture of his cell, where he had a playstation, CD player, a nice comfortable bed, pretty curtains...
It's crazy that prison is a punishment but its more comfortable than some peoples own homes.



posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 01:01 PM
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Originally posted by lifeissacred
Yes it is a joke, sentences are unnescessarily lenient and prison conditions in some places are extremely comfortable considering it's supposed to be a punishment.

However there is also the issue concerning the effect prison has on people, especially non-violent offenders. What's the use imprisoning someone for minor offences (like low level dealing of or growing cannabis etc) and then releasing them when once they're released they'll have no hope in hell of finding employment because no one wants to hire someone with a criminal record, they'll have a hard time renting a home and in many cases are inveitably forced to rely on benefits as well as resort to crime in order to make ends meet.
edit on 30-6-2011 by lifeissacred because: (no reason given)


Hi Life,
I totally agree on all counts.
There is no point in imprisoning non-violent, non-dangerous criminals, and that is where the definition of minimum sentences for each crime needs to be closely looked at.
For crimes where a fine, or community service would be more appropriate, my suggestion for doubling minimum sentences for repeat offenders still applies!
Simply double the minimum fine, or minimum hours community service for any repetition of that crime.
I'm not advocating sending more people to jail, just suggesting that we need to look at the minimum sentences handed out, and perhaps look at increasing the minimum sentence where the original punishments have not deterred the criminal from re-offending.
(If it IS broke - FIX IT!)

cheers
G



posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 01:06 PM
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Originally posted by ALOSTSOUL
The justice system is broken but can be fixed by hard work and good people.

A story: A close friend of mine was one of 7 girls aged (9-14) who was violently raped by an evil monster (I refuse to call it a man). The monster was found guilty on all counts and was handed a (can you believe this!) 6 year jail term. After the hearing outrage sweeped through my local town, almost to the point of riot.

After a long and dragged out appeal the monster was resentenced, and given an indefinite jail term. If it wasn't for the locals and the hard work of the DI's involed this monster would be walking the streets again by now.

ALS



Hi ALS,

That's a sickening example isn't it?

For that case, I would suggest that a rape conviction should carry a minimum sentence of say 3 years in prison?
7 counts of rape would attract a sentence of 3 + 6 + 12 + 24 + 48 + 96 + 192 years! (Doubled for each repeat of the offence)
So that particular offender would never see the light of day again.

Well deserved I reckon.

G



posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 01:13 PM
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Originally posted by Lulzaroonie
True story: About 5/6 years ago I received a wrong number text from a guy called "Jimmy". After striking up a very normal conversation I asked him who he was and where he was from. Well.
Jimmy was in prison for armed robbery. He even sent me a picture of his cell, where he had a playstation, CD player, a nice comfortable bed, pretty curtains...
It's crazy that prison is a punishment but its more comfortable than some peoples own homes.


Arrgghh!!! Lulz - Don't get me started on videogames and mobile phones!!!!

I got good qualifications from school and college.
I've worked hard for all of my adult life... about 25 years?

You hear all the time about prisoners and young offenders who have access to the latest mobiles, PS3's, WII's etc.
I don't have a PS3 or WII, because I can't justify spending the amount of money required, when I've got (rising) bills to pay and a young family to feed and clothe.

I don't have a new smart phone for the same reason (I've got an old brick of a mobile on a £10 a month contract)

I cannot tell you how angry I get when I hear about convicted criminals having these on a plate, especially when some court rules that depriving them of this is an infringement of their civil rights or something.

Things need to change.

G
edit on 30-6-2011 by Gordi The Drummer because: grammar fix!



posted on Oct, 10 2013 @ 12:34 PM
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Ughhh!!!!
It's not only STILL HAPPENING... I think it might actually be getting WORSE!!

Baby P's mother is about to be released early from her 5 year sentence as discussed in the thread linked below.
Horrific.

Link to ATS thread on Baby P mothers release



posted on Oct, 10 2013 @ 12:41 PM
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Irish yank here. Funny thing is in the states it seems to be the other way around. Petty crimes and all the way up to violent crimes are punished harshly. While so called white collar crimes are not. Makes you feel like the s***ed on peasent people. I'd perfer that tax dollars weren't spent imprisoning these folks, perhaps the violent ones. They get out and go right back in sad story really.


CX

posted on Oct, 10 2013 @ 01:39 PM
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You're right, the justice system is a joke.

My mate has hid works van covered with graffiti, some damage done too....courtesy of some bored rich kids from London who were going on a graffiti spree round our village. Another mate of mine caught them, and the police were called. £5000 worth of damage.

My mate got a cheque through for the damage. £20.00 He phoned to check this was right, and they said that it was the first of five payments. That's was the going rate....£100 per every £5000 of damage. Oh yeah, the rich kids got off with a slap on the wrist too, daddy sorted that one out.

That's why, if i catch anyone breaking into my house, or stealing my property.....i won't be ringing any emergency service.

CX.



posted on Oct, 10 2013 @ 01:45 PM
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The system is beyond a joke. I went to court during college as it was part of the law unit on my course, and there was a young man who had broken into buildings and stole countless things, had a drug addiction and was generally a bad, violent person.

He had been arrested numerous times in the past yet all they done with him was sent him to rehab.



posted on Oct, 10 2013 @ 01:54 PM
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I spoke to a guy many years ago who thought it was ok to break into cars but not to houses. I told them there was no difference as it was someone's property but he couldn't see what was wrong with it. I asked him if he liked it if it happened to him and he said no, so contradicted himself.



posted on Oct, 10 2013 @ 01:58 PM
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What i dont get is you can run an international paedophile ring or kill a child and get a suspended sentence but if you have a fight at football on a saturday you get 18 months in prison.

Work that one out



posted on Oct, 10 2013 @ 02:14 PM
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reply to post by Gordi The Drummer
 


If they made the sentence fit the crime they would no longer be able to perpetuate the myth that society is falling apart around our ears and that we need 'them' to protect us from these criminals.

I am a firm advocate of the three strike policy - found guilty for three separate crimes over a certain time span then you get lifed off.

I know literally countless people who've done a stretch - sure, most of them say it can be quite hard at first, the loss of liberty, but unless locked up in a Class A or even Class B prison then it's really not that hard to adapt and even flourish.
Many people get locked up for relatively minor offences - dare I mention that nasty word here on ATS, drugs - and come out far more knowledgeable in the art of crime than when they went in and also have a ready made network of like minded individuals.
Unclutter the prisons of people who've committed relatively minor offences, toughen it up for those who are left and offer some sort of support and consideration for those who have suffered as a result of crime.

Nonces and rapists etc are given lenient sentences, are separated from the general prison population and every effort is made to ensure their detention at Her Majesty's is as easy as possible with emphasis placed on rehabilitation rather than punishment.

Too much emphasis is placed on the rehabilitiation of the offender - prison is there primarily to punish and it should be a threat to deter, it shouldn't be a walk in the park.

I could rattle on for ages about this - but to what good?



posted on Oct, 10 2013 @ 02:16 PM
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As long as the current regime is in control, things will never change. The system exists to protect them. Sure little victories happen now and again but that is mainly allowed in order to maintain the illusion of democracy and people power. The reality is we have no power.

They abuse the law for their own gain yet throw the book at those who break the law out of desperation. It's "Do as we say, not as we do" on a grand scale. The old boys network needs to die. We need to overthrow them if we want change, but they made that illegal too. So nobody will do it.





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