The Independent has today reported that more than 1,200 people have been convicted with an average sentence of 16.8 months after the riots last year.
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said 3,051 people appeared in court prior to June 8 charged with being involved in last year’s looting and violence.
1,968 of those were found guilty, and 1,292 were sentenced and jailed immediately.
The figures show that the average sentence is substantially higher than the average (3.7 months) sentence given to people who committed similar crimes in 2010.
This should be no surprise to anyone as the justice system made it very clear they were going to be coming down hard on people involved in the rioting, especially after ‘copy-cat’ riots began occurring in other cities after the initial outbreak in London.
According to the figures, 692 offenders are behind bars and 710 have completed their jail term and since been released.
The figures also show some other interesting statistics:
- 53% of those before the courts were under 20 years old
- 6% were over 40 years old
- 50% faced burglary charges
- 22% were accused of violent disorder
- 16% were accused of theft
The most interesting figure in the above is confirmation of what everybody already suspected; the majority of rioters were members of a disaffected youth.
Whether this resentment is founded or not, or if it is just an example of the UK’s “culture of entitlement” rearing its head are different questions entirely.
Regardless, this resentment will no doubt become more apparent with the Government looking to reduce expenditure by slashing benefits and pushing people into work, without addressing the issues causing low unemployment rates in the country’s youth.
The August 2011 riots were estimated at costing the tax payer £133 million in policing and compensation costs, with the London Metropolitan Police bill alone estimated at £74m.