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Monday, September 10, 2012

Burglary is crime; perpetrator is not courageous - low conviction rate in UK

Burglary is heinous crime – does not need courage; the low conviction rate in UK

Punishment is a deterrent, besides the wrong-doer must be punished for the offence committed and for handing out proper punishments – the Law and its enforcement should be strong. Laws of India are many a times based on English common law because of the long period of British colonial influence during the period of the British Raj.

One of the Insurance coverage for property is against loss caused by burglary.  Burglary is defined as the ‘crime of breaking into and entering a building with the intention to commit a felony.’  At common law burglary is primarily an offense against the security of habitation, and need  not  be against the property as such! ~ Breaking as well as entering is essential to commission of the crime; to constitute a breaking, the use of physical force is necessary and sufficient, even though the amount of force may be slight. Statutes vary from one jurisdiction to another. In some an intent to commit a crime will suffice. The criminal law of the country does not speak of an offence called burglary.

However, most Insurance Policies clearly define ‘Burglary’ as to mean – an actual theft or attempt thereat – accompanied by an actual forcible and violent entry into or exit from any building / premises insured under the policy; or following assault or violence to any person or threat thereof.  

In the Society, the burglar causes incalculable harm as the security and peace of the householder is threatened – besides the loss of property.  Prevention of such occurrences, and when the unfortunate event does occur, culprit being apprehended and punished are required in a civil society.  The arrest and conviction of the wrong-doer does provide solace.

A remark by a Judge who freed a thief facing inquiry has raised storm in UK.  Judge Peter Bowers  was quoted as stating that it takes a huge amount of courage for someone to burgle someone’s home.  The convict was facing  a two-and-a-half-year jail term when the controversial decision freed him.  It drew sharp reactions and the British PM Cameroon said ‘'I’m very clear, burglary is not bravery, it’s cowardice. People who repeatedly burgle should be sent to prison.’ Courage is about doing the right thing and resisting temptation whatever the circumstances and can never be construed in doing something criminally wrong.  Burglary should be considered a heinous crime: evil and shocking. It traumatises victims, inducing a sense of violation – and in the very place where one should feel the most secure, our homes. Yorkshire MP Mr Davies  branded Judge Bowers 'an idiot' commenting about the amount of courage he believed it took to enter someone's house.

Alongside comes the news in Dailymail of the towns in UK where only one burglar in two is jailed as 'leniency league' is revealed.  The newspaper reports states that Ministry of Justice figures show astonishing variation in how Crown Courts deal with convicted burglars.  Newport was the most lenient in the country with just under 58 per cent of the crimes ending in jail; Dorchester was the toughest, handing down immediate jail sentences in more than 90 per cent of cases – that is disheartening as in Courts in some parts of the country jail barely one in two burglars while others send down as many as 90 per cent, as revealed by the 'leniency league table'.   It is stated that  Tory MP Philip Davies, who unearthed the figures through Parliamentary questions, called on new Justice Secretary Chris Grayling to investigate. Mr Davies said: 'What this table reveals is a map showing burglars the best places to get caught if they want to avoid being sent down.  'I am astonished that one court jails nine out of ten while others are sending not much more than one in two burglars to their just deserts.'

The political voice heard in UK  sounded more sense in advocating that law should be by the side of the home owner and protect them when dealing with intrusions - law should be  unquestionably on the side of the victims  and  not on that of the criminals.  The Police and any other law enforcing authority should not put to anguish those who  bore the brunt of the attack and such anguish should be reserved for offenders.

Now read the first para again……  Laws of India are many a times based on English common law because of the long period of British colonial influence during the period of the British Raj. - ~ and the conviction rate is low in Indian Courts too, though not such clear statistics is readily available

With regards – S. Sampahtkumar.
10th Sept. 2012

1 comment:

  1. I do agree that those who commit crime must be punished blue - Williams