Crime, Courts, Prisons , the Law and Policing

Crime, Courts, Prisons, the Law and Policing

Increase the number of Procurators fiscal so cases come to court sooner and so that they have time to weed out trivial prosecutions so the serious ones get dealt with quickly – Currently there are too few procurators fiscal and they are over-worked, which means they often don’t have time to review prosecutions properly before deciding whether they go to court or not, which means trivial cases that should never have come to court end up wasting the courts’ time and taxpayers’ money and serious cases take longer to come to court or are not heard. This is a false economy – hiring more procurators fiscal would make the justice system in Scotland faster, cheaper, more efficient and fairer in the long run.

Life meaning Life for repeat, serious violent offenders and the criminally insane – While the majority of people committing crimes can be reformed and should have another chance after serving their time in jail or community service anyone who commits a repeat, serious violent crime or who is found criminally insane should be automatically sentenced to life imprisonment in a prison or mental institution to protect the rest of the public. Life imprisonment should not mean just 10 or 15 or 25 years in these cases. It should mean life. The law needs changed so that judges must give a life sentence meaning life for people found guilty of such offences or who are found criminally insane.

Make parents of children too young to be prosecuted do community service along with them –At the moment police can't do anything about children below the age of criminal responsibility who are involved in criminal acts and are reluctant to prosecute teenagers in case sending them to jail makes them worse. A law which made their parents legally responsible for their actions and made them do community service along with their children under police supervision would be one possible solution.

End prison sentences for minor offences, replace them with community service with police arriving to take them each day to ensure it’s done For minor offences there must still be a punishment but jail is not the solution – it’s been shown to increase re-offending rates by putting people in with an entire society inside jail in which committing crimes is normal rather than the exception. Community service needs to be enforced though – police must be sent each day to pick up those sentenced to community service and ensure they do it.

Better regulation of the police – Many police do an excellent job dealing with difficult, stressful and even dangerous situations. However there are some police who don’t. They need weeded out. The Police Complaints Commissioner for Scotland needs more staff and more powers to oversee the police so those not doing their job or even committing crimes are weeded out and our police forces are improved.

End private and PFI/PPP prisons – Making prisons into a money-making business results in prison companies successfully lobbying for several year jail terms for trivial offences such as possession of small amounts of cannabis – as they have in the US. All prisons should be publicly funded on a non-profit basis.

Teach offenders other than life sentence (meaning life) prisoners a trade in prison, but anything they make with it while in prison should be sold to cover some of the costs of keeping them in prison and training them.

More football fields, parks and recreation centres - open for longer hours - along with cafes for teens and early 20s so teenagers don't get bored and cause trouble so much

Job creation is also vital to reducing crime - see my policies on job creation