Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Fines Higher For Parking Violations Than Robberies?

Looks like it.

The story can also be found here, Walt. ;) Admittedly this is the "Tory" paper, but the left-wing Guardian and the left-leaning Times haven't seen fit to cover the story. Perhaps they'll get around to it.

update: link to UK Telegraph story fixed. Thanks to Walt for pointing it out.


wally said...

Wait a minute, now. Forget the fact that both your links go to the same tabloid. That's not important. What's important is this: the clear implication of the article (and, by extension, your paraphrase) is that the punishment for robbery in the UK is a small fine. The article leads with: "Robbers are walking away from court with lower fines..." Sure they're walking away-- into jail! Fines have never been a major part of the punishment for robbery, in the UK or here. Why? Because most of the criminals don't have money! That's why they're criminals! Duh! The Times didn't ignore this story because they're liberal, they ignored it because they're a real newspaper.

By the way, just to prove I wasn't going crazy, I looked up UK sentencing guidelines and verified that yes, jail sentences were still being issued for the crime of robbery. Not only that, robbers aren't tried in magistrate's court at all, they're tried in Crown court.

Bob said...

@wally: thanks for pointing out the error in my second link, it has been fixed and you have been given the credit for pointing it out. I'll let you read the new article. It points out that non-jail sentences have been emphasized in recent years even for violent offenses, including robberies in some cases, and that the Lord Chief Justice is disturbed by the trend. Presumably he's better informed on the subject than you or I, unless you consider him some sort of Tory hack.

Regarding the Daily Mail's tabloid status: tabloids in the UK aren't the same as tabloids in the US, and can (and do) write some serious journalism. A review of the Wikipedia entry for the paper shows that it has been around for over 100 years and has been spoken of approvingly by no less a figure than Winston Churchill. I'll also point out that even a tabloid such as the US's National Enquirer can sometimes engage in journalism that the MSM refuses to do, such as the John Edwards story; had they not done so, that man could well have been president of the US at this very moment. So dismissing stories you dislike as coming from a "tabloid" is simply a tactic to de-legitimize viewpoints you disagree with.

wally said...

It's a sticky situation, full of relativism :) Reputable papers occasionally miss stories or get them wrong; disreputable ones sometimes stumble upon a real story. In today's glut of information, I choose to go with the sources more likely to be accurate, and give the less reliable ones a pass. I'm sure I miss a few tidbits that way, but if they're valid, and important, like the John Edwards story, I'll hear about it soon enough.