Muggers going free gives green light to crime

Greenwich Conservatives express concern this week at new sentencing guidelines from a quango which will allow many convicted muggers to avoid jail.

Previous sentencing rules said that all muggers should expect severe punishment - with a jail sentence as the norm. But, under the new rules for the courts, young robbers will only receive a community sentence as standard. Yet two-thirds of all mobile phone thieves are under 18.

Worse, official Government figures show that last year only 17% of muggers across Greenwich were caught and brought to justice.

This ‘get out of jail free’ card sends a dangerous signal to would-be muggers and gives the green light to more street crime in Greenwich. Letting young muggers escape jail could lead to a surge in robberies, putting local people who carry goods like mobile phones or iPods at particular risk.

Robbery is a violent crime that is utterly inexcusable and is very a traumatic experience for the victim. Already under Labour, 5 out of 6 muggers in Greenwich get away scot-free with their actions and their victims are not seeing any justice.

Community sentences have a place for minor crimes. But robbery is so serious that a prison sentence should be the norm both to deter and punish muggers