A nice piece in The Press today reinforces Alf’s concerns that boy racers are being treated much too leniently by our justice system. He’s all in favour of having the buggers strapped into their cars, then sending the cars to the crusher.
His thinking on this is reinforced by The Press’ s revelation that –
Boy racers are swapping thousands of dollars of fines for community work, with some receiving generous conversion rates of up to $100 for every hour worked.
The newspaper cites Ministry of Justice figures showing $38.5 million in fines were remitted for community work in the year to June 30, 2008.
That amount was only a fraction of the more than $783 million owed, mostly for vehicle offences.
More than $10 million of the transferred fines were for breaches of restricted and learner’s driver licences, with the bulk of the remaining $28 million made up of registration, warrant of fitness, speeding and driver-licence offences.
But here’s the thing that made Alf apoplectic –
One boy racer, who declined to be named, said when his fines became too onerous, he applied for conversion into community work. He had about $18,000 in fines wiped in return for 180 hours community service a rate of $100 per hour.
The process of converting fines to community work is performed at the discretion of a District Court judge, although there is no formula for the process.
The Ministry of Justice was unable to say how many hours of community service were performed in return for last year’s $38.5 million.
Collections general manager Bryre Patchell said the decision to impose community work was “judicial” and was made “on a case-by-case basis”.
“Judicial” is the language of a word weasel.
And $100 an hour is an outrage.
If the crusher is too extreme for our namby-pamby lawmakers, and if the money can’t be taken out of their hides, then at least make the rat-bags work off their penalties at the minimum wage, which means the community gets so much more work out of them.