Time for crime

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Your editorial rightly condemns justice secretary Kenny MacAskill’s dismissal of an increase of 17,000 in Scottish victims of assault (8 per cent) as “statistically insignificant”, but questions “quite why it is happening is difficult to understand”.

On the contrary, it is surely very easy when politicians permit and judges impose totally inadequate sentences, even on serial thugs – for example awarding (sic) them concurrent rather than consecutive incarcerations, thus enabling them to continue their chosen lifestyle rather sooner than most of us would like and reducing any deterrent effect on the like-minded next generation.

John Birkett

Horseleys Park

St Andrews, Fife