Law & Order meltdown in the UK - Is this the beginning or the end?

Sandi's picture
Submitted by Sandi on Sat, 2008-01-19 00:11

A short recap of UK justice this week

Early jail releases reach 14,000
Report published by the BBC 2008

Almost 14,000 prisoners have been freed early from jail to ease overcrowding.

13,742 offenders were freed under the early-release scheme in England and Wales.

Including, 2,533 people convicted of violence against the person,
280 robbers,
4 sex offenders.

117 offenders who committed further crimes during their release period remain at large.

244 offences have allegedly been committed by offenders released early during the period when they would otherwise have been in jail.

The number of prisoners in England and Wales hit a record high on 27 September last year when there were 81,135 people locked up in jails and in police stations.

The End of Custody Licence scheme applies to criminals convicted of lower-level offences and jailed for no more than four years.

Ministers introduced the scheme in June 2007 as the prison population reached capacity.

Under the scheme, prisoners can be released to serve the final 18 days of their sentence in the community in order to free up cells for those being sent from the courts.

Tagged prisoners 'commit 1,400 crimes'
Report published in the BBC March 2002

1,400 crimes had been committed by prisoners released early.

Unpublished figures showed
4 rapes,
38 serious woundings
82 serious assaults
had been committed by tagged offenders in the first three years of the scheme

published figures include
3 kidnappings,
7 threats to kill,
19 muggings,
53 burglaries,
123 drugs offences
223 thefts,
2 had been found with guns
14 found with knives,

The Home Office spokeswoman said that by November 30, 2001, only 893 of the 42,853 prisoners released under the scheme had been convicted or cautioned or were awaiting prosecution in relation to offences committed while subject to home detention curfew.”

Note that they released 42,853 prisoners early in that period. That is half of the current prison (over) population.

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Jan 18th 2008

Teenage killer was on bail after committing seven offences

· Youth who kicked man to death had violent history
· Police and prosecutors warned court of danger

The leader of the gang that kicked and beat Garry Newlove to death was released on bail despite having admitted to carrying out seven separate offences in the year leading up to the murder.

Adam Swellings, 19, was one of three youths convicted on Wednesday of murdering the father of three last August. Newlove challenged the teenagers after they vandalised vehicles outside his home in Warrington, Cheshire.

Newlove's widow has questioned how her husband came to be attacked by Swellings on August 10 2007, hours after the teenager was released by a court.

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Jan 18th 2008

Police chief: Public should challenge the hoodlums

The police chief of the county where a father of three was killed as he confronted a teenage gang urged the public last night to continue to challenge young hoodlums.

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Jan 18th Continued

Armed Citizens

A village pantomime are made to comply with health and safety rules, which have led to police registering two plastic cutlasses and a toy gun which flicks out a flag saying "Bang!"

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And for the grand finale, (I could blog this stuff forever but there comes a point when one is stopped in her tracks)

Judge agrees to hold murder trial in secret

Much of a murder trial will be held in secret for reasons of "national security", an Old Bailey judge ruled yesterday.

In an unprecedented decision, Mr Justice Ousley overruled protests by the defence that such a trial could be UNFAIR, and from seven media organisations that it would result in secret justice.


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