The conviction of three teenagers today for the kicking to death of father of three, Garry Newlove, brings home to all of us just how many problems we face in the UK with rampant street crime, teenagers knowing they will get away with virtually anything short of murder, and a police force who either don't care or are not resourced enough to care.
I heard the widow of Gary Newlove speaking on the radio after the verdicts were given, and she spoke of her feelings that a live sentence should be life, and I have to say that when someone is given a 25 years sentence it is shocking to think that they will be out in just 12 years.
We also have to ask though why it is that the police seemed not to care one jot about vandalism and thuggery going on before Mr Newlove's death. Isn't it about time the police took a zero tolerance view to this type of crime. the police call it "petty crime", but to the victims it is anything but.
A few years ago I had my car stolen. When I reported it and the police asked me where I had parked it, the policeman who took my statement said "I think we know who did it, its the same two brothers". When i asked what they would do, would they take fingerprint samples, etc, they replied that there was no point. They had only limited resources and if they got a conviction they would only be inside for a few weeks before being let out again, such was the low tariff for care crime.
Perhaps it is time we asked ourselves do the punishments fit the crimes in this country ? I many cases, I fear they don't.