Home secretary, Theresa May, recently announced proposals for tougher sentencing on those who take the life of a police officer. She wants to see these people face a life sentence because such crimes are an attack on the “fundamental basis of our society“. I don’t think I’m the only person to find these proposals slightly strange.
Firstly, I’m slacking a little bit; this was in the news a few days ago. I was going to write a little something as soon as I heard about this, but then I went shopping and had fun making rude words out of the spice jars instead. Oh, ‘moist’, you’re such a cheeky word…
It’s a shame that I’m not a Star Wars fan because if I were, I could make plenty of references to the franchise in this post, which would make the title as humorous and as apt as could be. As I’ve never watched all of the Star Wars films and have even fallen asleep during some of the ones I have watched, I can’t make any movie references. Sometimes, my creativity is totally wasted.
Back to the point.
I don’t understand why these proposals are only in respect of police officers who are killed. Yes, police officers are important and we need them, but why are their lives any more important or valuable than anyone else’s?
Imagine two men, both with young families. One is a police officer and one works in an office.
The police officer investigates an attempted robbery and never comes home again because he was stabbed to death.
The office worker comes home to find an intruder in his house; he too is stabbed to death.
We’ll assume that both killers are caught, arrested and that sufficient evidence is present to convict both of murder.
The victims are family men, who both love and care for their family as much as the other, but because one of them is a police officer (who, to a degree must accept an element of danger in his daily role), one of the murderers is locked up until he dies and the other one is out of prison in perhaps 10 years time, because he’s behaved himself. I simply can’t get my head around this.
I’m a firm believer that a “life” sentence should mean a life sentence, which is handed down to any person who takes another’s life. Police officers are no different and no more important than you or I, so why should their murder be taken more seriously, which is what this basically boils down to?
Theresa May is on the right track, but she’s caught the wrong train.