• News Feeds
Page last updated at 07:45 GMT, Thursday, 18 August 2011 08:45 UK

Former DPP's 'moral panic' warning


The former Director of Public Prosecutions in England and Wales, Lord Macdonald, has called for new guidelines to be issued for sentencing those involved in the recent violence and looting.

Interviewed by Today presenter Sarah Montague, he warned there was a risk of a "collective loss of proportion" and said it was important that courts maintain their objectivity and do not get swept up in any moral panic that might be elsewhere in society.

Lord Macdonald added that punishments had to be consistent. "It would be a very good idea if the Sentencing Council could meet and issue some guidelines for sentencing in this area.

"The whole point of guidelines is to achieve consistency and fairness and we shouldn't be finding ourselves in a situation where people are receiving wildly different sentences for offences that on the facts seem to be relatively similar. I mean that just isn't justice."

Get in touch with Today via email , Twitter or Facebook or text us on 84844.


Story Tools


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2020 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific