Only 1% of crimes lead to conviction
Just one crime in every hundred now leads to the offender being caught, charged and punished by the courts, latest statistics reveal.
The Home Office's own figures showed crime on the rise last year and more criminals being caught by police, yet the numbers being sent before the court dropped sharply by eight per cent year-on-year.
Opposition critics blamed the dramatic rise in the use of "summary justice" - instant fines or cautions and warnings handed out by the police - and accused the Government of creating an "arbitrary" justice system, letting off hundreds of thousands of criminals with punishments no tougher than a parking ticket.
In the year to June 2006 the British Crime Survey measured 11,016,000 offences against adults living in households in
However an analysis by independent statisticians - accepted by the Home Office - shows that the British Crime Survey counts only a third of all crimes as it ignores all offences against businesses including shoplifting, "victimless" crimes such as drug possession and any offences committed against under-16s.
Ministers are encouraging greater use of these rapid punishments even for relatively serious crimes such as shoplifting, to avoid clogging up the courts and to ease the prison overcrowding crisis.
Does anyone know when we will actually start punishing criminals? All crimes should be dealt with in court. It doesn’t matter how minor they are. Yes it would cost a lot of money to do this but every sentence should also accompany two fines. One, straight after the trial which covers the costs of the investigation and one after their prison sentence which covers the full cost of their stay in the prison.
Trials cost a lot of money. Judges get paid £120,000 per year but Magistrates (which have no legal experience) don’t get paid anything except for expenses and deal with minor crimes. If I was to change anything I would make a third type of judge. This judge would have legal experience but not as much as a normal judge. Basically they would have the equivalent knowledge of a legal executive. This new judge would be paid around £25,000 per year and deal with moderately serious crimes which would leave the main judges to deal with the serious crimes. It wouldn’t take long. Judges only get 1 weeks training anyway.
If you have ever been to a trial which I have (college trip) you would be able to see that judges are pretty useless because they basically only sum up the trial and sentence the criminal and an administrator could easily do that, infact anyone could do it. This might be different in trials for serious crimes. I don’t know because I only got to see the trial of a wife beater (guilty), robber (innocent) and a drink driver (guilty). I chickened out just as I was about to go and see a trial of a man accused of raping his 10 year old son.
Having a ‘middle judge’ would substantially cut the bill of the courts and there would be more judges found which would speed up the process. Judges don’t become judges for the money. They do it because they look good in front of their peers. Why else would you take a pay cut of more than 50% to be a judge? Yes that right. Barristers can easily earn £250,000 per year while judges are paid £120,000 per year.