The Labour government is having an ever growing problem with crime and punishment across the pond. The problem is the former is growing, the latter is ever decreasing - all with predictable results. One would not know that though listening to Labour. Indeed, statistically speaking, fighting crime has been a great success under Labour. I am not trying to suggest in any way that Labour would cynically manipulate the system to make the statistics say what they want. At any rate, with all that in mind, this today from the UK’s Daily Times:
Crown prosecutors are dropping tens of thousands of criminal cases each year despite having enough evidence to bring offenders to court.
Last year they halted proceedings against more than 25,000 offenders, including thugs, vandals and shoplifters, because it was not in the "public interest" to continue.
Officials admit the vast majority of cases are stopped because prosecutors are "snowed under".
A Crown Prosecution Service source said: "We are chronically underfunded and have an increasing backlog of cases.
. . . Stopping trials in the "public interest" still counts as an offence "brought to justice", helping courts hit Government targets.
Critics said the figures raised troubling questions and were another example of Labour's demolition of Britain's criminal justice system.
. . . Figures obtained by The Mail on Sunday under the Freedom of Information Act reveal the CPS dropped 25,821 cases last year on "public interest" grounds. In each case there was enough evidence to charge the criminal, but prosecutors later decided a trial would not be appropriate.
Robin Murray, of the Criminal Law Solicitors Association, claimed CPS lawyers receive bonuses for cases won, creating a disincentive to prosecute marginal trials.
He said: "CPS lawyers suffer salary implications if their statistics are unsuccessful compared with other lawyers."
The practice of dropping court cases has coincided with a dramatic increase in "soft justice" measures, including Asbos, cautions and on-the-spot fines.
Last month, a Court of Appeal judge claimed the huge growth in "soft justice" measures was bringing the law into disrepute.
Lord Justice Leveson said the use of fixed-penalty notices had become a "farce".
He cited one case where an offender had racked up £960 of fines in notices for theft, shoplifting and being drunk and disorderly.
He claimed there was no real prospect of the fines ever being paid.
Figures last month showed just 49 per cent of offences brought to justice resulted in a conviction in court, compared with 68 per cent in 2002-03.
Mr Murray said: "The Government is cutting costs at the expense of justice. "The police are acting as judge and jury. Courts up and down the country are empty."
Peter Goodger, 45, criticised the CPS for allowing the thugs who left him fighting for his life to walk free from court.
The father of four was set upon by three men who stamped on his head in a vicious assault.
The case was brought to court but the Crown prosecutor decided not to continue with the case when a witness who identified the men involved became "tied up in knots" by defence lawyers.
"I thought there was more forensic evidence, so I was surprised when they threw in the towel," said Mr Goodger.
. . . "If it was to do with improving their figures, then it's very wrong."
Read the article here. And as you ponder that, you can see some the effects in the trenches of ‘Ruralshire’ from a police inspector’s view:
Read the post here.
Here in Ruralshire, we are recovering from the shock of the latest behaviour reinforcing sentences handed down by Ruraltown Magistrates.
A £70 fine for belting an officer round the head during a domestic incident, a six month suspended sentence for three residential burglary offences (ten previous convictions for burglary) and a discharge for an affray in the street which caused one young child who witnesses the fight to literally collapse with fear.
Once again, I am exhausted and deeply depressed about the continual, planned and almost smug way in which the Courts spit on the decency of the rest of us in these situations.
The criminal underclass are not clever. But even they can understand "cause & effect". They are waging violent random hate campaigns against the world. To encourage this by making it ‘consequence free’ is dangerous.
If criminals are officially ignored in this way, expecting the Police to reduce criminal activity is the final fantasy.
After all; out here on the perimeter - there are no stars.