Archive of old topics pre-October 2007. PM a mod to get one reopened
The £5,000 case of the boy who caused criminal damage to a 1p carrier bag ... ge_id=1770

More bullshit reporting extraordinaries. The suggestion is at first of some minor fracas that led to the full might of the law swinging behind a petty incident.
A schoolboy who caused one penny's worth of criminal damage to a plastic bag was dragged through the courts at a cost of £5,000.

The 16-year-old, who cannot be named, yesterday pleaded guilty to snatching a carrier bag from a 13-year-old girl and breaking its handles.
From here on in , even with it being the Mail you begin to build up a different picture . It is made clear that the offender had a string of offences and is far from a typical schoolboy who does minor infractions
The teenager, who has a number of previous convictions, including carrying a blade in a public place and burglary, was reported to police by the parents of his victim.
The magistrate also clearly indicates it is not about the value of a bag used to carry PE kit , but about the victim . Whatever happened , the girl now is afraid of walking to school and is driven there. Whilst the lad in question may think little of an act of petty intimidation to a 13 year old girl ( and the Mail appears to agree with him ) the perception of the incident and the effect was considerable.Given his nature , it would seem he is the perfect candidate for a legal system to try to take some action and thus hopefully ( but unlikely I guess ) force him to confront his ant-social nature and amend. But Civitas don't seem to think so.
Robert Whelan of the Civitas think tank said: "This is a perfect example of the sort of thing that would once have been dealt with by the community - the kind of offence that would have ended with a clip round the ear.

"Now we have to bring in the full machinery of the law. It is a sign of the weakness of civil society."
There you go . The legal system desired now to deal with the anti-social nature we hear about continuously . A clip around the ear because for God's sake we can't start spending money on state systems .What is it then , ignore the petty crime and intimidation saying it is ignorable , or a return to hanging , flogging 50 year sentences and a stint in national service?

Of course it is entirely predictable that Civitas are used for the rent a quote .Wiki describes them as a neutral organisation , but they clearly are not and have a good right wing pedigree having developed as the social unit from the free market IEA . Their stance on immigration is a sad and predictable affair. ... 99,00.html ... ic_Affairs

Civitas seems to have as it's mission the end of state spending on social matters including the NHS , and a desire for the enshrinement of marriage . And whilst they advocate an expansion of prison places , the main concern here is state cost not social cohesion.
The one-penny prosecution brought scathing criticism over the failure of the justice system to deal with minor infractions without involving scores of lawyers and officials.

Instead, thousands of pounds was wasted on the time of police officers, Crown Prosecution Service staff and lawyers, court workers, officials and magistrates over two separate hearings.
I would be very curious as to how to the how these figures breakdown . For example , if I went into a police station to report a crime and went through the procedure would then end cost seem at first prohibitive? Is £5000 actually a reasonable sum considering the procedures and those involved as opposed to a kangaroo court legal system of £5 , arbitrary rule and a bit of rough justice?Would they calculate the cost of a clip across the ear from a copper to include the hour renting the policeman's wages during the administration of "justice" , wear and tear on shoes and clothing , transport and private (of course ) insurance for the clipping hand of justice? Next time figures are bandied about , I expect the Mail to include the cost of renting the building and wear and tear on carpets.
By Citizen Smith
Membership Days Membership Days
I posted a comment on this story saying that had the victim been an old lady then there'd be calls for the lad to be hanged. Hasn't appeared yet...

Why do DM headlines have to be SO misleading? Any idiot (who reads the entire story) would glean that this isn't about the cost of a plastic bag. They really are shits.
By Killer Whale
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
This appears to be exactly the sort of case that the theory of zero tolerance is based upon. Don't let petty offences go by since they're often a manifestation of more serious law-breaking.
Incidentally, Civitas is correct in one way. This is the sort of case that at one time would have been dealt with in the community, but not in the way they think (clip round the ear? By whom? Whatever happened to respect for the rule of law; a basic conservative value?). At one time the community would have had eyes and potential petty street criminals knew this. They knew that if they did something like this they would be seen and dealt with by some form of public humiliation such as being told off in public. Now the community either doesn't see events like this because it's locked up in its homes or driving its cars, or, having commodified law and order as a consumer good paid for out of 'my bloody taxes', regards it as the proffesional's job to sort this sort of thing out.
Ironically, what we have here is a breakdown of anarchy - where once there was the order of self-regulation, now there's a chaotic capitalist free-for-all.
By bairy
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
Some mixed, and good, comments, such as:
It's not the extent of the damage to the bag that counts here, it's the fact that he was bullying and intimidating a frightened girl three years younger than himself. Quite right he should be brought before the courts, give him a taste of being on the receiving end of a bit of bullying, it might put a few manners on him before he gets any worse.

- Rose, Co Cork, Ireland
Might have been 1p worth of damage to the bag but how much value do you put on the fear this girl is suffering? Read his previous convictions - not a nice lad.

- Lee, Beverley, East Yorkshire

I'm all for zero tolerance in the fight against crime but why don't the police act so zealously against real criminals?

- Anon, Haywards Heath, W.Sussex
They do numbnuts, but the headline "Police officer does his normal shift and arrests 25 criminals, 3 of whom we're violent" just doesn't sell papers does it.
By daveinbrum
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
bairy wrote:
I'm all for zero tolerance in the fight against crime but why don't the police act so zealously against real criminals?

- Anon, Haywards Heath, W.Sussex
They do numbnuts, but the headline "Police officer does his normal shift and arrests 25 criminals, 3 of whom we're violent" just doesn't sell papers does it.
Or indeed the headline "Yob who terrorised girl is charged". Which could just as easily have been applied to this story if that had suited the Mail's purposes.
By Winston O'Hoodie
Membership Days Membership Days
I see old friend Adolf Hurwood of the zero-tolerance, hang 'em high, National Vigilante Organisation has commented on this one...
"A schoolboy was sentenced by magistrates today for causing criminal damage valued at ONE PENNY.

The 16-year-old was ordered to complete six hours of community work after police prosecuted him for breaking a plastic carrier bag."

And this total waste of time and money is certainly going to make him respect the police - NOT!

It seems every police force in the country has totally lost the plot!

- Albert Hurwood, National Vigilante Organisation., Corby, Northants, UK
...proving yet again that he is utterly incapable of reading past the headline. I would have thought that severe punishment for the yob in question would have been right up Adolf's street.
By Andy McDandy
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
Even the supposed cost (in terms of salaries of cops, judge, court officials) is moody - these people would still be going to work and being paid the same regardless of what case they were processing. Do DM readers really think that it's all piece-work? Or that they get special 'PC Madness' bonuses? Dear oh dear...
Meanwhile in the Netherlands

Rutte’s clearing the decks as he’s up […]

Richard Littlejohn

You do for starters. Never stops banging on about […]

Matthew Goodwin

I personally would leave the plinth empty, I t[…]

The Trump Presidency

Yeah I was wondering if he will forget some, evide[…]