I'm getting pretty sick of anonymous police sources mouthing off in the media.
That mood is not assisted by the topics they choose to complain about. There is a saying "No police officer ever met a new power he didn't like."
That's not universally true, of course. In fact, in recent years, some police officers have shown remarkable sense in pursuing smarter, rather than harsher, ways to deal with crime.
Today, however, we saw police demanding mandatory penalties for gun possession:
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First there are two examples of sentencing, presented without any context whatsoever, meaning the reader has no way of knowing whether the sentence was appropriate or not. This is a constant issue with media reports that, frankly, one has become more accustomed seeing in the Terrorgraph.
And the paragraphs following are not evidence:
The changes in New York were wide ranging and encompassed a fundamental shift in policing in New York. Sentencing was a very discrete and comparatively insignificant part of the changes.
The following is from a paper entitled "Zero Tolerance Policing":
Beyond Zero Tolerance":
In fact, the only sensible suggestion in entire piece (the government having either not suggested one or not having had it quoted) comes from John Robertson.
At present we have a number of guideline judgments in operation, including for High Range Drink Driving and Armed Robbery. If the Attorney General sought such a judgment, and the court was satisfied that it was appropriate, a framework for sentencing persons convicted of gun possession could be handed down.
It would be something along the lines of "A person convicted of XXXX should in the ordinary case be facing a term of imprisonment of between three and five years."
Alternatively, the government could impose what is known as a Standard Non-Parole Period - a period of time that should be imposed on a mid-range example of an offence.
By way of example, the Standard Non-Parole Period for Murder is 20 years, whilst for Sexual Assault it is 7 years.
Of course, that all assumes that the penalties being imposed are actually insufficient, and no one quoted in this piece was actually able to prove that. Until someone does, this piece remains little more than a baseless attack on the legal system.