Robbery Cases Soar in Every Corner of England
Byline: JAMES SLACK
ROBBERY rates have soared across England, research revealed yesterday.
A Government study comparing life today with 15 years ago exposes an alarming rise in the crime in every region.
In 1990, 72 robberies per 100,000 people were recorded.
In 2004/5 there were 168 per 100,000.
The numbers have risen every year since 1990 - but have increased sharply since Labour came to power in 1997.
That year, robberies stood at 121 per 100,000.
Shadow Home Secretary David Davis said: 'Robbery is up by a third since Labour came to power and violence has doubled.' Last night, the figures fuelled outrage over plans to go soft on robbers.
Under sentencing guidelines, street robbers aged 17 or under who use 'minimal force' may get non-custodial punishments.
The advice of Lord Chief Justice Lord Phillips sweeps aside the ruling of his predecessor, Lord Woolf, who had instructed that courts should always jail mobile phone robbers no matter how young they are. Norman Brennan, director of the Victims of Crime Trust, said the 'alarming' figures, from an annual study by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, made it clear robbery should carry tougher penalties.
He added: 'This is deeply worrying. At a time when violent crime is rising, why is it that we have judges saying that robbers should not be imprisoned except in cases of extreme violence?
'We are reducing a serious crime to be almost an acceptable crime.
'Robbery is never acceptable.
It should always attract a prison sentence unless there are extraordinary circumstances.' Over the 15-year period, the North West saw a 150 per cent rise, from 67 to 168 robberies per 100,000.
The North East had a 165 per cent increase, from 33 to 89.
Yorkshire and Humberside saw a 135 per cent rise, from 41 to 98.
The East Midlands saw crimes rise by 210 per cent from 40 to 124. …