MP wants tougher sentencing for burglars

AN MP has called for tougher sentencing policies after claiming just 1.4% of Essex's burglars are ever jailed.Conservative Bernard Jenkin, who represents North Essex at Westminster, said that out of the 16,909 burglaries reported in the county last year only 434 were brought to justice and sentenced and, of those, only 230 were jailed for their crimes.

AN MP has called for tougher sentencing policies after claiming just 1.4% of Essex's burglars are ever jailed.

Conservative Bernard Jenkin, who represents North Essex at Westminster, said that out of the 16,909 burglaries reported in the county last year only 434 were brought to justice and sentenced and, of those, only 230 were jailed for their crimes.

He made his comments as part of a nationwide Conservative campaign to promote a new three point plan suggesting how the number of burglaries could be cut.

Mr Jenkin said: "Burglary is a serious crime which causes great distress for its victims.


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"Yet I am extremely concerned that only a fraction of burglars are ever caught and brought to justice, and just a mere 2.6% of burglars in Essex are actually brought to justice and sentenced."

He added: "Prison has an important part to play in warning potential burglars that crime does not pay.

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"I am calling on the Government to implement the Conservative policies of placing 923 more police officers on the streets of Essex, of stopping the conveyor belt to crime by introducing another 20,000 nationwide drug rehabilitation places and of restoring the deterrent threat of prison."

However an Essex Police spokesmen said the figures quoted by Mr Jenkin, which were obtained from the Home Office, could be seen as painting an over-pessimistic picture of burglary clear-up rates.

Detection rates for burglary, the spokesman said, were at around 15% in the county and were comparable to similar forces.

A spokeswoman for the Howard League of Penal Reform said that prison was not an effective deterrent in any case.

"The re-offending rates for prison are extremely high - at least 50%. It clearly isn't acting as a deterrent, because people come out and commit further crimes.

"We would argue that more people should have community sentences and be able to make reparations for what they have done.

"We want to see fewer victims of crime, and given the reoffending rates, prison is not doing that."

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