While violent crime is on the rise in Britain, the police have decided to throw in the towel and give up on arresting and punishing most criminals. Under new guidelines issued to police by the Home Office, crimes which do not result in personal injury or death should now be dealt with not by arrest and punishment, but with the issuance of a 'caution,' a criminal citation only slightly worse than a traffic ticket.
While a 'caution' does give the recipient a criminal record, he is not required to go before a judge or a jury, and receives neither fine nor prison sentence for his crime. Essentially, by pleading guilty he is let off with a warning and no punishment at all. Under this new rule cautions will be issued for drug possession or sale, sex with a minor, arson, burglary, assault, mugging, auto theft, and a variety of other crimes which had previously been considered jailable offenses.
This new policy has apparently been developed as a result of excessive demand on the courts and prison overcrowding. Concern over these problems has already led to the controversial release of many violent criminals from prison after serving only a fraction of their sentence, including rapists and killers given life sentences released in as little as 15 months.
Under the new Home Office rules you would basically have to kill someone or cause them serious bodily injury to go to prison. Of course, just to own a gun for home defense is still a serious crime, but with gun violence up more than any other single form of crime, no measures are being considered to allow citizens to defend themselves and their property, despite desperate cries for firearm legalization from threatened citizens.