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COUNCILLORS SEE RED AS OFFENDER ESCAPES WITH ‘SLAP ON WRIST’

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20 SEP

COUNCILLORS SEE RED AS OFFENDER ESCAPES WITH ‘SLAP ON WRIST’

By timesecholife on in Latest News

THIEF SNATCHED HANDBAG

PUNISHMENT handed out to a thief who snatched a handbag from a woman in Cheadle has left civic leaders in the town fuming.
A 27-year-old man was caught almost immediately thanks to a passer-by who saw the incident in Charles Street on Saturday and grabbed the bag back.
The offender was later arrested but police decided against charging him for the offence.
He was instead given a conditional caution and told to write a letter of apology to the 53-year-old victim, from Abbots Bromley.
Town councillors have this week blasted the move, describing it as a mere ‘slap on the wrist’.
Former market stallholder Ray Wood said: “I’m disgusted because it’s simply no deterrent at all.
“Trying to steal someone’s bag off their shoulder is terrible and the punishment should fit the crime.
“I’d commend the person who stopped the thief and did something about it, rather than just watching, but to give the offender a slap on the wrist is not at all what we’re looking for in the police.
“If you get caught, you write a letter of apology? That’s not going to stop him doing it again and might even encourage others to do the same thing.”
Cllr Peter Wilkinson reckons the offender got away ‘virtually scot-free’ and demanded police get tough on criminals.
He added: “This is a crime that must have left the victim badly shaken up so there has to be a greater punishment than this.
“He should be named and shamed on social media and perhaps given community service or something like that.
“To let him get away with writing a letter is just showing weakness and means he’s pretty much got away with it.”
Cllr Julie Bull agreed the culprit should have been punished more severely.
She said: “It seems that the modern way is to let these thugs off with a caution, but it simply isn’t good enough – what sort of deterrent is that?
“Violent acts and thefts from people should command stiffer sentences – no question.”
A police spokesman said use of the conditional caution, first introduced in 2003, rests on a number of factors.
He said: “It can only be used if the injured party agrees, if there’s an admission of guilt and if the offender has no previous convictions.
“The custody sergeant involved can issue the caution if all of those conditions are met and it’s something that’s not used very often in my experience.
“The offender is asked to write a letter of apology explaining why he committed the offence and that he fully regrets his actions.”
The spokesman added: “The member of the public involved in the incident was a 35-year-old man from Longton and we’d like to thank him as the lady’s bag would have disappeared without his intervention.”

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