Letters: Donald Tyler, February 17, 2015

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Is anyone sent to prison these days? It seems that criminals, many of them habitual wrongdoers do not, as read in the courts page in the Lynn News.

I did think that a magistrate’s duty was to firstly protect the public and secondly to punish a criminal for the offence committed. It seems to me that neither of these duties are being carried out.

How can the public have any confidence in the justice system if week after week the same names keep appearing and no real action is taken, as an example in this week’s paper one individual appears to have been in front of magistrates twice for different crimes with no meaningful punishment.

Fines can be imposed, however I have grave doubts they are ever paid. Why should ordinary, well behaved honest people have to put up with drunks, thieves, violent offenders and vandals, without those offenders having any fear of punishment? Surely if magistrates want to make a difference they should not act as social workers, but impose proper justice and award custodial sentences.

Even those on suspended sentences and commit further offences are released without the suspended sentence being awarded. This is nonsense.

I know someone will respond by saying that offenders commit crimes because of their home circumstances or they have had a difficult childhood or misbehave because of alcohol or drug abuse whatever the reason offered it is no excuse for committing crime.

It really is about time that magistrates and judges focus on the victims of crime and start to punish the guilty with proper punishments,

Donald Tyler,

Borough councillor for South Downham