I already posted this comment in the comments of my 'why Tony is right post', but I feel the points are so important, they need highlighting in a new post, so here it is;
I know, I know, it sounds terrible doesn't it to suggest that it is worth a few innocent people getting punished to enable us to punish the guilty, but we are talking about low level punishment and 100 pound fines here not the death penalty and nobody in their right mind would argue that it should be extended to anything other than low level punishment.
Also how likely is it that someone is innocent who is walking around an industrial estate or council estate at 2am with 10,000 in cash and no reasonable excuse for doing so?
Contrary to what you all seem to think, we have had summary justice for a long time and I have never seen any of you question it before.
Think of parking wardens dishing out parking fines. Think of fixed penalty fines for driving. Yes there are many cases of these fines being awarded unjustly (there is a process of appeal) but we can't allow it to clog up our criminal justice system at great expense. The time consuming nature of proving all these cases is just impractical.
All that Tony Blair and I am suggesting is that we extend this fixed penalty concept to low level crime such as anti-social behaviour.
Longrider, B4L, Urko etc. In the point I was making about the 10,000 cash scenario, I did point out that as long as they can provide a reasonable reason for this, they are fine.
If someone gets stopped at 2am in an industrial estate with 10,000 cash on them, I don't think the police should have to prove wrongdoing. I think its perfectly reasonable to ask someone to explain this situation and if they can't then I'm afraid they deserve to be punished.
All these high minded principles are great, but they sometimes conflict with the practical evidence. In low level cases, I don't see anything wrong in following practical solutions that work rather than sticking to high minded principles that just let the guilty off the hook and lead them onto higher levels of crime.
The evidence shows, if you can catch a criminal and prosecute them quickly and easily for low level crime, you stop them in their tracks and largely prevent them from progressing onto more serious offences. This is in the interests of all of us.