PROTECTING SCUNTHORPE’S PUBLIC IS NO LAUGHING MATTER
We've recieved another new article from North Lincolnshire blogger Gary Day, its reproduced here in full, unedited by our selves. You can take a look at Gary's blog here: http://garyday2011.wordpress.com
Today as Prime Minister David Cameron and Justice Secretary Ken Clarke did what was nothing more than a blatant public opinion forced U-Turn on their proposed sentencing policy, those on the opposition benches will have sat there quietly chuckling away to themselves at yet another “wet kipper” slapping in the face for the just over a year old Conservative Government.
Though the Prime Minister attempted to portray his and his Justice Secretary’s actions as that of strong healthy governing, the truth is that his protestations were nothing more than a feeble defence of his minister and his minister’s department’s failure to understand how sentencing works, and what the full ramifications of such a policy proposal would be, along with the uproar it would cause in public opinion.
Labour opposition leader Ed Miliband was correct when he stated: "It's yet another example of this government not being in touch with people." However that is only one side of the coin where this Clarke “cock-up” is concerned.
The truth surrounding these proposals in the first place was nothing more than a money saving exercise and now that this avenue has been ripped out of the hands of the Prime Minister and his Justice Secretary they will be taking a hard look at where they can recoup their enforced loss from.
With the Ministry of Justice having its budget cut by 25%, the original 50% sentence discount proposal would have provided forecasted savings of over £100m expected of the department. As the prime minister announced that any deficit lost by this policy change would now be found in "efficiencies," he continued to say that the Probation Service had suffered less in cuts so far than the Police; this statement was nothing more than a blatant warning of intent to the Justice department’s public sector workforce and further justification for their loss of trust in this Conservative Government.
It is for this reason that as the U-Turn announcement was made today, a quiet band men and women in Scunthorpe as in all other parts of the country didn’t find anything to do with the announcement as funny at all. These people were public sector workers who work in the Prison Service, the Probation Service, Police Service and the Court Service.
These are the people that collectively strive to: hold those to account that would do harm to others, ensure that law breakers repay their debt to society, ensure that justice is served and most importantly of all try to prevent the next victim.
The people of Scunthorpe and in other parts of the country should also remember that as Police numbers continue to be cut it makes it even more difficult for law breakers to be caught. As court staffing numbers continue to be cut, it could clog the judicial system thereby keeping criminals on the streets longer than necessary those that should be in custody. As Prison Officer’s numbers continue to be cut, so go the staff that could be utilised to open up the public sector prison estate to its maximum thereby lessoning the amount of cell places available for use. As Probation Officer numbers are reduced so go those charged with supervising offenders upon their release into the community after they have completed the custodial part of their sentence thereby minimising the risk of offenders offending.
It is for these reasons today that the public sector justice workers of Scunthorpe and the rest of the country will be feeling persecuted for the sake of saving money instead of supported in their task of upholding the laws of the land, and will not be laughing at the Government’s embarrassment today, for they know the real cost it will carry in the long run – as do I.
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