Tony Arbour
‘Sharp shock’: Tougher sentences, training and rehabilitation will scare first-timers out of a life of criminality

Courts in England and Wales are having to deal with hundreds of thousands of offenders who already have numerous previous convictions.

FOI figures show 338,592 offenders – with more than 10 previous convictions – were yet again brought before our courts in the last two years¹.

Almost half a million offenders (482,141) – with at least six previous convictions – returned back to our courts during the same period.

GLA Conservative London Assembly Member, Tony Arbour, uncovered the figures and is calling for harsher sentences combined with training and effective rehabilitation to serve as a ‘sharp shock’ for first-time convicted offenders.

GLA Conservative Assembly Member Tony Arbour said:

“It is shocking to see our justice system periodically churning out the same crooks with yet another conviction under their belt. Something is clearly not working. Prisons cost more than boarding schools and yet they appear to be seasonal all-paid-for retreats for certain individuals. This is a gigantic burden on our courts. We need to give first-time offenders an initial ‘sharp shock’ – harsher penalties, training and effective rehabilitation – to scare them out of a life of criminality. If they have a drug problem, get them on a programme. If they lack vocational skills, train them up. There may be short term costs, but long term gains for society. We will save the public purse huge amounts of cash if offenders learn their lesson the first time and ditch crime for good.”

In London, the Mayor’s Office for Police and Crime has stated it will challenge unduly lenient sentences.

At today’s monthly Mayor’s Question Time session at City Hall (10am, Wednesday 11th June), Tony Arbour will urge Boris Johnson to push for London to lead the way and demand tougher first sentences and more investment into rehabilitation.

¹ The figures provided from the MOJ, under a Freedom of Information request, relate to the two year period between September 2011 and September 2013.