How much crime - percent and value - is committed by those on bail in the UK?
What would be the effects on UK crime and justice if those with previous convictions for similar crimes (e.g. theft then theft but not theft then murder) were not allowed bail? How about if those with criminal records were routinely denied bail?
I remeber some time ago there was a proposal by the then Home Secretary Michael Howard to treat crimes comitted whilst on bail far more severely when it came to sentencing.
Since then Jack Straw and Paul Boeteng have also weighed in.
Juveniles are among the most likely to get bail and are twice as likely as other offenders to add more crimes whilst on bail.
Anecdotally, when I talk to prisoners, I often find they claim to have taken a period out on bail as a ‘last chance saloon’ and they make the most of it whilst they can, knowing they will be out of circulation for some time.
Personally anyone convicted of crime whilst on bail should have their sentence added to the total instead of running concurrently as is often the case.
The police have become wise to this and it is not unusual for them to wait until the prisoner has been convicted of a particualr offence and is already incarcerated before bring charges for bail crime, and this then adds on the the senetence.
I enjoy hearing of cons being released from jail and being met at the gate having served their time, and are rearrested by the police and taken into custody for those bail offences.
Hence the term ‘gate arrest’, something that cons genuinely fear.
My heart goes all warm and it serves them right.