Dorset Police Federation chief backs tough sentences for rioters

First published in Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Features & entertainments writer

LENGTHY jail terms for riot offenders are sending out the right message.

This is the view of some Dorset MPs and the chairman of Dorset Police Federation who say a strong message needs to be issued that such disorder will not be tolerated on our streets.

The sentencing debate for the London rioters continued yesterday as campaigners criticised the “bad sentences” that had been handed out in the wake of the riots.

The Howard League for Penal Reform warned against judges and magistrates handing out disproportionate sentences as two men – Jordon Blackshaw, 20, and Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan, 22 – who tried to incite a riot on Facebook were jailed for four years, even though the riots never happened.

Clive Chamberlain, chairman of Dorset Police Federation, said he could see the argument for both sides but added: “I don’t have any sympathy for these people.

“The sentences are excessive considering the usual minimal sentences that we are used to but maybe a strong message does need to be sent out.

“If it stops people from inciting a riot in the future, then it has been effective.”

Mr Chamberlain called for an inquiry into the riots and for consistent sentencing legislation.

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