Most London looters had prior convictions — and no jail time!

Two in three of those involved in the riots who had a criminal record had never been to jail, despite amassing an average of 15 previous offences each, figures have shown.

One in four people charged over the violence and looting that swept through English cities had committed more than 10 previous offences, with one in 20 having more than 50, the Ministry of Justice figures showed…

Four in 10 of males aged 10-17 who were brought before the courts over the riots had at least one previous conviction, compared with just one in 50 of those aged 10-17 in the general population.

But the officials said that while those involved in the violence and looting were ”much more likely than the population as a whole to have previous convictions, there is also evidence of some people being drawn into the criminal justice system for the first time…”

New figures for the crown courts showed 79 jail sentences have been handed down so far, with nine in 10 of those appearing in crown courts being sent to prison, compared with one in three for similar offences last year.

For those dealt with in magistrates courts, 97 have been sent to jail – four in 10 of those who have been sentenced – compared with one in 10 of those who appeared before magistrates for similar offences last year.

Overall, sentences were tougher too, with those involved in the riots being jailed for an average of 10.4 months for violent disorder, compared with an average of 5.3 months last year.

For burglary, the average for those involved in the riots was 14.1 months, compared with 8.8 months last year.

Mr Clarke added: “I congratulate the courts for delivering swift and firm justice, which stopped the riots spreading further.

I am dismayed to see a hardcore of repeat offenders back in the system

He went on: “We are making our jails places of hard work, getting criminals off drugs and alcohol, toughening community sentences and making offenders pay back to victims and communities for their crimes.”

The paying back part is praiseworthy – not often realistic though.

Sounds like the Brits have to make the same sort of decision we’re barely starting to make in the US about our own drug gangs. Make rehab and education available in the slammer — but, count on warehousing some of these miserable lowlifes often and for bigger time.

One thought on “Most London looters had prior convictions — and no jail time!

  1. zpike says:

    Sounds like home. Almost any American big city. The ratio of punks arrested to punks convicted to punks actually stuffed into the slammer is wholly determined by suits managing budgets in some safe and dusty state legislature.

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