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Fears of soft justice as first-time criminals to avoid court


It comes as the government faces a record backlog of court cases and a crisis of prison overcrowding after a surge in the prison population.

Damian Hinds, the prisons minister, said: “The current system for these punishments has become unwieldy and has led to inconsistencies in their use.

“This streamlined system will ensure that victims see justice done, better reduce low-root crime, and ensure that the most serious offenders always face the light of the courtroom.”

There are concerns that there has been a patchwork approach, with some forces inappropriately allowing criminals to avoid prosecution.

The new code is likely to lead to an expansion of “diversion” schemes already introduced by some police forces, where people caught for “misdemeanor” offenses for the first time can escape prosecution with a warning if they agree to change their behaviour.

The “misdemeanor” list includes possession of drugs, including cocaine, as well as cannabis, if they agree to undergo an educational program.

Also included are “summary” offenses normally handled by magistrates, such as shoplifting, burglary, petty theft, criminal mischief, and assault.

Persistent violators will also face tougher penalties under the new system, the ministers insisted.

‘Too lenient approach to crime’

It emerged on Tuesday that ministers are also considering mandatory jail sentences for prolific criminals, including repeat thieves, thieves and thieves.

For the first time, the Government will also detail the most serious crimes for which criminals will not be eligible for a reprimand, including drug trafficking, possession of knives, assaults causing serious bodily injury and sexual offences.

Precautions were first introduced in the 19th century and expanded in the early 20th century, largely for traffic violations.

They have developed in multiple forms, from cannabis warnings to disorderly penalty notices to community resolutions.

Out-of-court dispositions, largely made up of community resolutions, increased by nine percent and accounted for 16 percent, or 164,000, of all the more than one million crimes prosecuted through the criminal justice system in the last anus.

Violators will need to admit their crime to be eligible for a warning and agree to conditions aimed at rehabilitation or doing work for the benefit of their community.

That could include removing graffiti, treating them away from their drug addiction, or paying compensation to victims.

They will avoid a criminal record once they have finished their work or treatment, but they will be fined or prosecuted if they later break the conditions or repeat the offence.

Rory Geoghegan, founder of the Public Safety Foundation, who was also an adviser to No 10 and a former police officer, warned that the system could undermine government attempts to end the “overly lenient approach to crime and the criminals who commit it.” ”.

“Residents of areas plagued by quality-of-life crimes, such as shoplifting, bicycle theft, and possession of crack, heroin, and cannabis, will not be comfortable with any proposal that allows criminals, at the outset of their criminal careers or after failing to do so. having been caught for a while, to just continue or even escalate their criminality,” he said.

The Telegraph has previously revealed how not a single burglary, or personal, vehicle or bicycle theft has been solved in between half and two-thirds of the 30,100 neighborhoods in England and Wales.

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