Sunday, January 08, 2012
Ten per cent of all murders in Britain are carried out by bail bandits
More than 10 per cent of murders in are committed by criminals released on bail for another crime. In the last five years, more than 350 killings were carried out by so-called ‘bail bandits’. It means that more than one violent death a week could have been prevented if the suspect had been locked up instead of being
Despite the worrying scale of serious crime by bailed suspects, ministers are planning a huge rise in the use of bail for suspects. Thousands more could be released every year before their cases reach trial in an effort to save millions in prison costs.
But the move is raising concerns that more innocent people will be victims of suspects who would otherwise have been behind bars.
Javed Khan, chief executive of Victim Support, said: ‘It’s traumatic enough being a victim of serious crime. It adds insult to injury when a victim finds out that the offender was on bail at the time. ‘These figures are a cause for concern and could further undermine confidence in the justice system.
‘We know that victims want an effective criminal justice system that cuts crime and stops reoffending. ‘That is why justice agencies need to work harder at stopping people committing serious offences while on bail.’
The Tory MP for Witham, Priti Patel, said: ‘The Government has to look at these figures carefully and address how the public can be protected from these individuals. ‘They should also look at how they can clamp down on bail order breaches and, most importantly, make sure these individuals are properly prosecuted. ‘This is making a mockery of the criminal justice system.’
Official figures released under the Freedom of Information Act show that over five years, 11 per cent of murders were committed by offenders bailed over another offence. Between 2006 and 2010, some 238 murders were committed by in England and Wales by bailed suspects out of a total of 2,107. Bail bandits committed 125 offences of manslaughter in the same period out of a total of 1,305. They were also responsible for 446 rapes, or nearly 90 every year. That is four per cent of all rapes carried out in the period. In addition, more than 900 sexual offences were committed against children by bailed criminals.
Overall, suspects who could have been locked up were responsible for seven per cent of all serious crimes, including murder, manslaughter, serious assault, rape and sex offences against children.
Bailed suspects commit one crime every four minutes, including a fifth of all burglaries and one in six robberies.
Cases where bailed criminals have committed horrific crimes are among the most notorious in recent years. Father-of-three Garry Newlove, 47,was kicked to death in 2007 after confronting drunks who damaged his wife’s car. His killer, teenage thug Adam Swellings, had been released on bail that morning after being convicted of assault.
Other cases include Jonathan Vass, a 30-year-old ex-bouncer, who slit the throat of his former girlfriend while on bail for raping her.
The figures are the latest to provoke fears that too many criminals are escaping with ‘soft justice’. Last month the Daily Mail revealed that 50 people a day suffer a violent or sexual attack by a convict who has been spared jail.
Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke has proposed a huge increase in the use of bail. Thousands more suspects could be released on electronic tags that alert the authorities if they do not comply with their curfew. Around 9,200 fewer criminals every year will be remanded into custody before trial.
Officials insist the measure will be used only when the alleged offence means there is ‘no prospect’ of the suspect being jailed if found guilty. They say prosecutors will be given the power to challenge bail decisions if they fear the public may be at risk.
A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: ‘Dangerous offenders who pose a threat to society should always be remanded into custody while they await trial.
‘To strengthen this, the Government recently signalled its intention to allow prosecutors to challenge a Crown Court bail decision where they feel a potentially dangerous prisoner could be bailed. 'Bail is only being modified for minor offences where the defendant would not receive a jail sentence if convicted. ‘The decision to grant bail is taken by the police and courts based on the full facts of each case.
'They take extreme care, particularly when making decisions about cases involving violent crimes.
‘The overwhelming majority of people bailed do not reoffend and are often given strict conditions such as electronic tags and curfews. ‘Anyone who reoffends while on bail will usually receive a longer sentence as a result.’
Divorced British parents will have right to see their children under new law
This is already in place in Australia
Ministers are drawing up new rules to put courts under a legal duty to ensure divorced parents are guaranteed access to their children. Parents who refuse to accept the orders will be in contempt of court and risk serious penalties or even jail.
The move will delight fathers’ rights campaigners who believe dads are penalised under the present system which usually grants mothers custody.
The Coalition is hoping to succeed where Labour failed. In early 2005, it tried to force mothers to let partners see their children by threatening to impose penalties such as night curfews and electronic tagging.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Tory work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith have apparently agreed a different approach which they hope will be more successful.
Around 3.8million children - one in three - live without their father.
Last night children’s minister Tim Loughton said: ‘Our vision is to establish that, under normal circumstances, a child will have a relationship with both his or her parents, regardless of their relationship with each other.
'We must do everything we can to improve the system so that it gives children the best chance of growing up under the guidance of two loving parents.
'All the evidence tells us that children genuinely benefit from a relationship with both parents, with the potential to make different contributions to their child’s development.
'The culture has shifted away from the traditional view that mothers are primarily responsible for the care of children. Increasingly society recognises the valuable and distinct role of both parents.
'We are looking closely at all the options for promoting shared parenting through possible legislative and non-legislative means.'
Mr Loughton’s comments indicate that ministers have gone against a key finding of November’s family justice review, which rejected equal access for mothers and fathers, saying it would put too much pressure on judges. It is believed that the law could be changed by amending the 1989 Children’s Act to include presumption of shared parenting.
Another option would be for the Government to support a backbench bill by Tory MP Charlie Elphicke, which will be debated later this month. The bill requires courts and councils which are enforcing contact orders for children ‘to operate under the presumption that the rights of a child include growing up knowing and having access to and contact with both parents involved’.
Nadine O’Connor, campaign director for Fathers4Justice, said a Government move would be a ‘massive step forward’. 'It is saying that dads have as many rights as mums,' she said. 'I will believe it when I see it, but the reform has to apply across the family justice system.'
Free yourselves from the lefty ghetto
Lefties, as a rule, only read other lefties. This seems to be the case with George Monbiot. His attack on libertarianism (This bastardised libertarianism makes ‘freedom’ an instrument of oppression, 19 December) is the usual mix of unwillingness and inability to understand anything outside the intellectual ghettoes of the left.
He claims to have asked: “Do you accept that some people’s freedoms intrude upon other people’s freedoms?” - as if that were some knock-down refutation never made before. Of course we do. Our difference with him isn’t that we are against courts and the other modes of dispute resolution. What we deny is that social peace requires an enlarged and omnicompetent state run by his friends.
He claims we “pretend … that only the state intrudes on our liberties. [We] ignore … the role of banks, corporations and the rich in making us less free.” Not quite. We do believe that the state is the foremost violator of our right to life, liberty and property. But we also observe that banks are licensed and regulated creatures of the state, and that big business in general is only big because of state-granted privileges like limited liability, infrastructure subsidies, and tax and regulatory systems that cartellise costs and flatten competition from outside the magic circle. There is a difference between believing in free markets and supporting actually existing capitalism.
You could have published an attack on libertarianism that didn’t border on misrepresentation. Or perhaps not. That would have meant exposing your readers to genuine libertarian positions. And that might, in a few cases, have opened the gates of their intellectual ghetto.
Australia: Political correctness kills a black kid
Authorities could not intervene in neglectful childcare arrangements for "cultural reasons"
The Department of Child Protection has admitted to not intervening on behalf of an eight-year-old girl, who has since died in the desert under questionable circumstances, despite knowing she was living with a convicted child snatcher.
The girl, whose name and photograph has been suppressed for cultural reasons, died from severe dehydration on Tuesday after she was found more than 12 kilometres from the Tjirrkali Aboriginal Community, 180 kilometres north-west of Warburton.
She was in the company of Augustine Winter Miller, 38, who was the partner of the girl's carer Tania Little, who was also no relation to the girl.
Ms Little made headlines when she admitted to stealing a three-day-old baby from Perth's King Edward Memorial Hospital in 2007 and was given a suspended sentence by the Kalgoorlie District Court the following year.
The department said it had paid Ms Little to care for the girl through its family crisis program since 2010. But it said it was not culturally appropriate to intervene in the girl's care because it was common practice with Aboriginal children to leave living arrangements up to the extended family.
But Goldfields community leader Daisy Ward said the little girl was abandoned to two people who were not related to her or from her country. This was despite the girl having family, including both parents, a brother and aunties and uncles on both sides, who lived in the alcohol-free and traditional community of Jameson, Ms Ward said.
Ms Ward said that the girl should have gone back to her family instead of strangers. "I feel sick thinking about it. The duty of care goes back to the parents," Ms Ward said. "The carer that was looking after her should not have let her go [hunting]. There was a big responsibility [over her care].
"Only family should have had her. They should have had her in the first place, when she was little. It still goes back to parenting and the parents did wrong."
It is not known whether the girl's family were even notified that she had gone to live with a stranger since the community is not speaking to media.
The girl's mother Ann-Marie Lane had given up custody of her daughter and a son, when they were young, because she was not coping. The older boy went to live with his father in Jameson and her then two-year-old daughter went to live with a grandmother, Nola Grant. Ms Grant eventually died from kidney failure when the girl was aged about six.
The girl then went to live with Ms Little but details are sketchy about what arrangement was made between the grandmother and Ms Little over the care of the little girl before Ms Grant died.
It appeared that Ms Little had helped the older woman care for the girl when Ms Grant became increasingly unwell. Ms Little then took over custody and sought financial assistance for her new ward from the department in May 2010.
The department provided payments to Ms Little through Centrelink for more than a year but did not question the appropriateness of the convicted child snatcher to be her carer or seek out the girl's actual family.
"The department is unable to comment on the specifics of individual cases for reasons of family privacy," it said in a written statement. "...The department responds to notifications of concern regarding the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. Where necessary, the department will make alternative arrangements for children whose parents are not able to care for them. "However, if the extended family makes arrangements to ensure the safety and wellbeing of a child, the department will not need to intervene.
"These sorts of arrangements made by extended family are culturally appropriate and not uncommon in Aboriginal communities."
It said the type of financial assistance it provided was to pay for food, utilities and any undertaking of urgent travel, as well as provide bereavement assistance where applicable.
The department has denied any knowledge of the girl having gone to live in the Tjirrkali Aboriginal Community, 180 kilometres north-west of Warburton, where Mr Miller resided.
Mr Miller was known to police because he was a convicted child sex offender after forming a relationship with 14-year-old girl who he said had been promised to him as a wife. Mr Miller is not considered a traditional man except that he has gone through traditional men's business as an adult.
Since April last year the Laverton man and Ms Little formed a relationship and she joined Mr Miller in the Tjirrkali Aboriginal Community, where he hunted and operated as a bush mechanic.
It was his skills as a mechanic and his knowledge of bush survival that have caused the Warburton community to question how he and the little girl came to be lost in the desert for four days.
The girl died despite valiant efforts of police and a Warburton nurse to try and resuscitate her when she was found unconscious at 2pm on Tuesday.
The pair had been on a hunting trip since Saturday and were found halfway between their abandoned two-wheel drive car, which was 25 kilometres into the remote desert, and the community.
The girl's death is still being investigated by police for the state coroner and is being treated as suspicious as a precautionary measure.
In the meantime the Warburton community is baying for Mr Miller's blood in the way of pay back, which under tribal law allows the men to spear him for failing to ensure the girl's safety.
It is understood that the mother, Ms Lane, has flown to Warburton to collect the body, which is to be laid to rest in Jameson.
Mr Miller is meant to reside in Kalgoorlie until his next court hearing for firearm charges. He was released from custody by the Magistrates Court on the condition that he was to report to local police every day from Monday to Friday.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.