Latest Public Sector News

18.08.11

Riot sentencing defended

Prime Minister David Cameron has defended the tough sentencing for perpetrators of the riots, insisting that the courts should be able to make decisions concerning sentencing.

He said: “It's up to the courts to make decisions about sentencing, but they've decided to send a tough message and it's very good that the courts feel able to do that.”

Iain Duncan Smith commented on the Prime Minister’s reaction to the riots, telling the Spectator: “There has been a lot of focus on debt and the economic crisis. Now, we have to focus on the social crisis.

“The prime minister made it clear that this, now, is his big focus. It is not possible to have watched or experienced any of these riots without realising that we're in the last-chance saloon.

“This is our warning. That wasn't the crisis, but the crisis is coming. We can't let this go on any more, and I think the prime minister sees that.”

Some have disputed the variation in sentencing across the country, with some offenders receiving lengthy sentences, of up to four years, and others let off.

A spokesman from the Ministry of Justice said of the courts: “Their sentencing decisions are based on the individual circumstances of each case and offender.

“That is why different offenders may be given different sentences for what might appear to be similar crimes. To provide a consistent base for these decisions an independent body of experts, the Sentencing Council, set guidelines for them to use.”

More than 3,000 people have been arrested so far over rioting.

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