Public Safety and Civil Liberties by Richard Clutterbuck

By Richard Clutterbuck

In forty nine out of fifty crimes in Britain the criminals pass unfastened. Many are younger and turn into power criminals. the place do the solutions lie? domestic setting? schooling? legal intelligence? expertise? The legislations and judicial systems? legal or its possible choices? How will we defend civil liberties - for suspects, accused and victims?

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1O The weakness of these figures is that only about a quarter of crirnes are reported at all. Thus the average clear-up rate, 26 per cent of recorded crimes, probably means about 6 per cent of the total number of crirnes, of which only about 2 per cent result in convictions. It was mentioned earlier that only 1 crime in 50 results in a conviction and 1 in 750 in imprisonment. ll Clear-up rates are lowest for offences affecting property, though higher for violent and sexualoffences. In March 1996, figures were published by the Horne 0[" fice (The Times, 26 March 1996) showing that there was an encouraging trend, in that the total number of recorded crimes had fallen slightly in each of the years 1993, 1994 and 1995.

The importers, distributors and dealers certainly deserve none of the pity which may be feIt for the exploited couriers. Importers are likely to become millionaires; they commonly import in 5 kg bags, buying for about f40,000 per bag and selling for f80,000, having paid the pittance to the couriers. They will probably seIl it in smaller lots, usually of 1 or 2 kg, to distributors they know and trust. ) so that they have 2 kg of the diluted product to seIl. This dilution 'has two purposes: it has in any case to be diluted as the pure drug can be lethaI, especially heroin; and by diluting they make their profit.

19 are clearly linked to gun ownership. There were 212 million guns held privately in the USA, induding 67 million handguns. Gunshot wounds kill 38,000 people each year, about 60 per cent by suicide or accident. Of 16,000 murders with guns in USA in 1993, 13,000 were with handguns. By contrast, 54 people were being murdered annually with guns in the UK. The chance of dying from gunshot wounds in USA was 70 times greater than in the UK and 100 times greater than in Japan; and British gun laws were tightened in October 1996 (see Postscript, p.

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