Statistics released by the Ministry of Justice show that of 4,059 criminals sentenced last year for indictable offences (i.e. murder, manslaughter, rape, kidnapping, grand theft, robbery, burglary, arson, conspiracy, fraud and other major crimes) in North Wales - only 603 were sentenced to prison. Thats less than 15%!
Apparently of the remainder, 842 received fines, 344 were given suspended jail terms, and 1,371 were given community sentences, with the rest given conditional discharges or passed over to mental health authorities.
Of course in the Druid's time crime was dealt with far more efficiently: we sacrificed the blighters! However, even back then, that was going a little too far which lead to the Emperor Tiberius outlawing Druidism - the only national religion to be so proscribed by what was a religiously tolerant Roman Empire.
Crime in Anglesey
So lets take a look at crime in Anglesey in 2009 beginning with the incidence of all crimes, and then the figures for burglary, robbery, vehicle crimes, violence, and anti-social behaviour (note: these graphs show the number of crimes per 1000 people):
Two things are immediately apparent from these charts:
- Most of Anglesey's criminals go on holiday in September; and
- the two largest categories of crime in Anglesey are overwhelmingly the last two: violence and anti-social behaviour.
The Druid is not an expert, but I would suspect that when only 15% of offenders of serious crimes are given prison sentences this sends out a message to society that you can pretty much do as you want - because you have to be REALLY REALLY bad to get anything more than a slap on the wrist. No wonder there is so much casual violence and anti-social behaviour.
It is easy to shrug this off and complain that the Courts aren't doing their job - but we have known for a long time that North Wales Police are more interested in catching speeding motorists than drunken yobs. During a recent nigh-time excursion to the Druid's nearest market town on a Friday evening, he observed not a single Police officer anywhere at chucking-out time. It is also informative that ex-North-Wales-Policeman, Plaid Cymru candidate for Ynys Mon Dylan Rees is actually calling for even less criminals to be sentenced to prison. With the figure currently standing at just 15% what figure do you have in mind, Dylan? 10%? 5%? 0%? Do let us know...
All the Druid can say is: perhaps it is time for elected Police Commissioners - its surely right that the priorities of the local Police are set by the local communities they serve rather than faceless bureaucrats in Whitehall.
Until that happens you can make do by balancing your bobby.