The Big Question

Should the police be able to dispense instant justice?

Len Smith – Gypsy activist
Absolutely not! The premise presupposes that officers will be objective and not operate any personal prejudices. This is not only unlikely, it is beyond human nature in general, and unfair to both parties. My community has received prejudice within the judicial system as it operates now, so a reduction in standards is too awful to contemplate.

Karen Shook – Disability equality adviser
I think that many of the proposals in the consultation on this are positive. But I don’t think instant fines are practical as they will alienate young people from good schemes that could divert them from antisocial behaviour and hanging around in gangs. Many under-16s would not be able to pay an instant fine.

Angie Lawrence – Single mother
The police already have a negative relationship with those people to whom they would be handing out instant justice. Surely the solution lies in how crimes are dealt with – speedier court action and an effective consequence. The bigger picture is how we raise children: do we empower them or do we frustrate them at every turn?

Raymond Johnson – People First Self-Advocacy
I would support this idea – definitely. There are some kids on my estate that cause a lot of problems. They shout at me and try to force me to do things and the council say they can’t do anything about it. Maybe if the police gave them on the spot fines they would stop – or their parents would soon stop them if they had to pay.

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