Anorak

Anorak | Driven To Crime

Driven To Crime

by | 22nd, January 2004

‘CRIME is everywhere. It’s in the Mirror, the Express and it’s flooded the Mail like a wave. You can’t turn a page these days without being confronted by it.

‘Awww! But I wanted the Nike one’

Take the Mirror, which hears that our courts jailed more people for motoring offences last year than for burglary.

This is not to say that burglary is now at an all-time low, or that the clean-up rate for house breaking is in the single figures.

It just says that last year the courts jailed 10,178 burglars. Over the same period, 15,039 drivers were incarcerated, and of those, the Mirror claims 12,469 were for minor offences, such as careless driving, driving without insurance and not paying fines.

While this is great news for John Prescott, whose plan to rid the country of all other motorists bar one gathers speed, jail doesn’t appear to be the best way to deal with minor offenders.

The thing to do is to tag them. Well, it was until the Mail discovered that criminals released on home detention are slipping off the last word in electronic jewellery to avoid detection while out committing more crime.

When challenged – and in one instance a villain’s DNA was found at a crime scene – the suspect just says that he was at home with his bracelet. The alibi is cast iron.

But as with all crime, we want figures, so the Mail finds out that last year offenders on home detention committed 1,683 crimes, including 519 cases of theft and fraud and 229 cases of violence.

It is clear that sending criminals to their room, so to speak, is not without its failings. But, as with all things, Tony Blair has a new and cunning plan.

The Mirror hears that Tony wants to introduce “pocket money” fines for anti-social children.

The father of under-16 Leo reminds us that children in his son’s age group are responsible for “a lot of anti-social behaviour”, like throwing tantrums in supermarkets and demanding more ice-cream.

And while we wait for the all-important figures, he goes on: ”It is precisely for that reason that we have the power to extend fixed-penalty notices to them. I very much hope we can do it as soon as possible.”

Taking money from minors is all very noble, but what does Tony ‘Gripper’ Blair do when the child cannot pay? Hold his or her head down the toilet and flush?

Sharon Moore of the Children’s Society has the same concern, and wonders: ”Where are they [under 16s] meant to find the money to pay?”

Well, they could check in the glove compartment of the car they’ve just stolen or wait outside the Post Office on pension day with a gang of mates and a large bat.

The alternative is to be very, very good and never do anything wrong in the first place. In short, to copy the good examples set by adults.

After all, would Mr Prescott punch someone in the face? Would Mo Mowlam experiment with cannabis? Would Harriet Harman, the Solicitor General, break the speed limit?

Well, would they?’



Posted: 22nd, January 2004 | In: Tabloids Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink