MP demands courts take tougher stance over releasing criminals on bail

TOUGH LINE: Shipley MP Philip Davies who wants fewer criminals to be allowed bail

TOUGH LINE: Shipley MP Philip Davies who wants fewer criminals to be allowed bail

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SHIPLEY MP Philip Davies is demanding that judges slash the numbers of crooks given bail – as official figures reveal more than 1,000 criminals each week walk free before being jailed.

Latest Government statistics show 53,900 criminals who were later sent to prison, were not remanded in custody, either before a trial or after being found guilty.

Mr Davies said the figures for the 12 months to March 2014 proved tougher action was needed.

“These figures totally discredit the Howard League for Penal Reform which this week are claiming courts are “needlessly locking up people” and that there is widespread “overuse and misuse of remand”.

"This simply is not the case. On average 1,038 criminals each week leave court, but are later given a prison sentence.

"There is no reason not to remand more people in custody when it is clear they will be sent to prison.”

The Ministry of Justice figures given to Mr Davies show in comparison there were about 27,000 people who were remanded in custody and later either acquitted, given a fine, community service or discharge by magistrates and judges.

“The official figures speak for themselves," he said.

"The Howard League for Penal Reform has been throwing around figures which do not show the whole picture, manipulated to make their argument.

"We are certainly not too tough but too lenient. The 53,900 criminals were let free and many will have gone on to commit more crimes.”

Mr Davies also criticised the Howard League's chief executive Frances Crook, who has called for an end to “courts remanding innocent people and people accused of petty crime,” claiming her views were naïve and out of line with public opinion.

He added: “To suggest that magistrates are merrily remanding innocent and trivial offenders in prison willy-nilly is insulting.

"More people should be remanded in my opinion. If people suspect they will be sent to prison there is also the chance they will not turn up, leading to police time wasted in chasing arrest warrants.”

The figures also show more than 61,000 people did not attend their court appearance.

The Howard League for Penal Reform told the Telegraph & Argus it would not be making any response to Mr Davies' comments and criticism.

Comments (10)

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6:51am Thu 21 Aug 14

Albion. says...

I think you have to look at the seriousness of the alleged offence before bail is granted, not all of those later receiving a custodial sentence are a danger to the public. On the other hand, there are some who are obviously dangerous and who are bailed. It seems to depend on the mood of the bench, more consistency please.
I think you have to look at the seriousness of the alleged offence before bail is granted, not all of those later receiving a custodial sentence are a danger to the public. On the other hand, there are some who are obviously dangerous and who are bailed. It seems to depend on the mood of the bench, more consistency please. Albion.
  • Score: 13

7:37am Thu 21 Aug 14

bd7 helper says...

Need to think a little bit longer
Need to think a little bit longer bd7 helper
  • Score: 8

7:41am Thu 21 Aug 14

food_for_thought says...

Another misleading T&A headline - the MP's point was that the Howard League for Penal Reform were telling half-truths and manipulating figures to tell a story that suited their agenda. Although I've generally found Mr Davies to be amongst the least conniving of the species, it is a little ironic that a politician should be accusing anyone of taking a biased view and being economical with the truth. His 'demand for a tougher stance' was an entirely incidental point...but 'MP accuses bunch of do-gooders of telling half the story' wouldn't work as well as a headline would it?
Another misleading T&A headline - the MP's point was that the Howard League for Penal Reform were telling half-truths and manipulating figures to tell a story that suited their agenda. Although I've generally found Mr Davies to be amongst the least conniving of the species, it is a little ironic that a politician should be accusing anyone of taking a biased view and being economical with the truth. His 'demand for a tougher stance' was an entirely incidental point...but 'MP accuses bunch of do-gooders of telling half the story' wouldn't work as well as a headline would it? food_for_thought
  • Score: 3

9:12am Thu 21 Aug 14

Bone_idle18 says...

There's also the point that, before your trial, you're just accused of a crime..Innocent until proven guilty.

Saying that, violent offenders, especially with a history of violence, should be remanded, and people accused of serious crimes and present a flight risk, should not be bailed. How many times do we here of people bailed for a serious crime, only to leave the country on the next flight?
There's also the point that, before your trial, you're just accused of a crime..Innocent until proven guilty. Saying that, violent offenders, especially with a history of violence, should be remanded, and people accused of serious crimes and present a flight risk, should not be bailed. How many times do we here of people bailed for a serious crime, only to leave the country on the next flight? Bone_idle18
  • Score: 8

9:32am Thu 21 Aug 14

Cityman23 says...

Wonder if we'll EVER read a story where Philip Davies DEMANDS better treatment for the poor, unemployed, low-paid, immigrants, and an end to food banks etc???!!!

Was that a Pig I saw flying overhead?
Wonder if we'll EVER read a story where Philip Davies DEMANDS better treatment for the poor, unemployed, low-paid, immigrants, and an end to food banks etc???!!! Was that a Pig I saw flying overhead? Cityman23
  • Score: 3

9:48am Thu 21 Aug 14

Farsley Bantam says...

Cityman23 wrote:
Wonder if we'll EVER read a story where Philip Davies DEMANDS better treatment for the poor, unemployed, low-paid, immigrants, and an end to food banks etc???!!!

Was that a Pig I saw flying overhead?
No it was Eric Pickles.
[quote][p][bold]Cityman23[/bold] wrote: Wonder if we'll EVER read a story where Philip Davies DEMANDS better treatment for the poor, unemployed, low-paid, immigrants, and an end to food banks etc???!!! Was that a Pig I saw flying overhead?[/p][/quote]No it was Eric Pickles. Farsley Bantam
  • Score: 7

11:45am Thu 21 Aug 14

mustnotgrumble says...

Maybe Mr Davies could put same effort into demanding his govt dont cut every depts budget to the bone or has he not read recent reports of prisons bursting at the seams. Reoffending rates of 80%, rehabilitation? More like recruitment of lifetime career criminals. Tagging curfews are the most effective as opposed to custodial because prisons are a holiday camp and a daily dose of liberty versus custody is a constant reminder of what freedom is whilst their peers are free to go out.
Maybe Mr Davies could put same effort into demanding his govt dont cut every depts budget to the bone or has he not read recent reports of prisons bursting at the seams. Reoffending rates of 80%, rehabilitation? More like recruitment of lifetime career criminals. Tagging curfews are the most effective as opposed to custodial because prisons are a holiday camp and a daily dose of liberty versus custody is a constant reminder of what freedom is whilst their peers are free to go out. mustnotgrumble
  • Score: 4

12:04pm Thu 21 Aug 14

mustnotgrumble says...

Cityman23 wrote:
Wonder if we'll EVER read a story where Philip Davies DEMANDS better treatment for the poor, unemployed, low-paid, immigrants, and an end to food banks etc???!!!

Was that a Pig I saw flying overhead?
We maybe wondering for a longtime. Mr Davies and his govt have prolonged this recession and even resorted to targeting children as a means to cut spending whilst wasting billions on illegal wars. Remember cameron saying "we are a rich nation" whilst at the somerset floods. Not much use for a child whose parents hav to make desperate choices between food, electric, or council tax.
[quote][p][bold]Cityman23[/bold] wrote: Wonder if we'll EVER read a story where Philip Davies DEMANDS better treatment for the poor, unemployed, low-paid, immigrants, and an end to food banks etc???!!! Was that a Pig I saw flying overhead?[/p][/quote]We maybe wondering for a longtime. Mr Davies and his govt have prolonged this recession and even resorted to targeting children as a means to cut spending whilst wasting billions on illegal wars. Remember cameron saying "we are a rich nation" whilst at the somerset floods. Not much use for a child whose parents hav to make desperate choices between food, electric, or council tax. mustnotgrumble
  • Score: 3

1:27pm Thu 21 Aug 14

Robin of Loxley says...

food_for_thought wrote:
Another misleading T&A headline - the MP's point was that the Howard League for Penal Reform were telling half-truths and manipulating figures to tell a story that suited their agenda. Although I've generally found Mr Davies to be amongst the least conniving of the species, it is a little ironic that a politician should be accusing anyone of taking a biased view and being economical with the truth. His 'demand for a tougher stance' was an entirely incidental point...but 'MP accuses bunch of do-gooders of telling half the story' wouldn't work as well as a headline would it?
Election coming up in about 9 months. Davies has to get his name around somehow.
[quote][p][bold]food_for_thought[/bold] wrote: Another misleading T&A headline - the MP's point was that the Howard League for Penal Reform were telling half-truths and manipulating figures to tell a story that suited their agenda. Although I've generally found Mr Davies to be amongst the least conniving of the species, it is a little ironic that a politician should be accusing anyone of taking a biased view and being economical with the truth. His 'demand for a tougher stance' was an entirely incidental point...but 'MP accuses bunch of do-gooders of telling half the story' wouldn't work as well as a headline would it?[/p][/quote]Election coming up in about 9 months. Davies has to get his name around somehow. Robin of Loxley
  • Score: -2

11:58pm Thu 21 Aug 14

RAN-BFD says...

As usual Peter Davies MP reflects what the Silent Majority thinks. The so-called Penal Reform idealists must love the prevailing T & A headlines citing law breakers who have been `spared prison'. They keep quiet when those on bail or those that escape from open prisons commit further crimes on some poor unsuspecting individual. More emphasis should be put on protecting the public, and Davies is consistently in favour of this quite rightly.
As usual Peter Davies MP reflects what the Silent Majority thinks. The so-called Penal Reform idealists must love the prevailing T & A headlines citing law breakers who have been `spared prison'. They keep quiet when those on bail or those that escape from open prisons commit further crimes on some poor unsuspecting individual. More emphasis should be put on protecting the public, and Davies is consistently in favour of this quite rightly. RAN-BFD
  • Score: 1
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