A group of MPs and peers today called for a review of fines issued under lockdown, arguing that the current system “criminalises the poor over the better off.”
The suggestion comes after a report highlighted “significant concerns” that the fines are “muddled, discriminatory and unfair,” including an inadequate appeal process and the criminalisation of those who cannot afford to pay.
Harriet Harman, the chairman of the Joint Committee on Human Rights, noted that “swift action to make restrictions effective is essential in the face of this terrible virus.
“But the government needs to ensure that rules are clear, enforcement is fair and that mistakes in the system can be rectified.”
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Yesterday’s Talking Point: What do you think needs to be done about crime in London?
Yesterday we asked for your thoughts on how London might begin to tackle the huge wave of crime seen in recent weeks, and many of you got in touch with suggestions.
Some of you thought that Mayor Sadiq Khan had not done enough to prevent crime. Others pointed to flaws in the justice system - “MGHOW” suggested that the government needs to start implementing tougher prison sentences. “Even for murder it can be only a few short years in jail. How does that deter crime?”
“Bethechange” agreed - saying that “the government needs a total overhauling of the justice system.”
“Our boys in blue are the best of what we have, but they are feeling disappointed because of ridiculous sentencing. Early releases and in some cases total inefficiency of the Crown Prosecution Service as well as soft sentencing judges. If one person gets caught with a knife, gets the sentencing of 10 years, and full 10 years, imagine how many would be willing to go out with a knife?”
But “Ken-doh” wasn’t so sure, pointing out that “locking everyone up is not a long term solution, these people eventually come out of prison, then what?”
“CyclingLondoner” thought that the first step should be to legalise cannabis, suggesting that “the majority of these stabbings are over turf wars over the right to sell drugs in a given postcode.”
“Thwobble,” meanwhile, wanted to bring back National Service. And “Sponegbob” thought that a more positive rhetoric of “you can actively achieve” might also help people avoid crime.