I was extremely disappointed to hear that a judge in Middlesbrough released a young criminal after declaring that his “wings are clipped” despite admitting that nothing has previously stopped this repeat offender and stating that he was “determined to embark on a life which will result in you being locked up for increasingly long periods in custody.”
Deterrence and rehabilitation are two core pillars of our justice system, but protection of the public is also vital. Figures released on Thursday (20/10/2016) revealed that crime in the Cleveland Police area (which was already at a high level) rose by 11% in the past year.
Soft-touch justice fails to deter criminals, fails to protect the public, fails to ensure that the punishment fits the crime and fails to provide any incentive for offenders to rehabilitate. Criminals whose actions show a danger to our society should head to prison, not return onto our streets after yet another slap on the wrists.
It is an old cliché to say “it’s time to get tough on crime”, but it’s true: lax sentencing and an increase in crime have once again gone hand in hand.
Jonathan Arnott MEP
UKIP, North East