Express & Star comment: High time for proper sentences
The footage of a female police officer being confronted by a teenager holding what appears to be a gun is nothing short of shocking.
The fact that 19-year-old thug Reece Lones turned out to be holding an imitation firearm does not detract from the seriousness of his actions.
He was carrying it for one reason, and one reason alone.
That was to pose a threat to anyone who had the misfortune to get in his way.
Pc Jemma Follows deserves the utmost praise for her bravery in dealing with this lowlife, who thankfully was detained by officers shortly after the incident.
Yet as punishment for his crime, Lones has been handed a sentence of just two years and three months in a Young Offenders Institution.
This incident highlights two extremely important issues.
The first is the perils that our brave police officers face on a daily basis when responding to what may at first appear to be routine calls.
Secondly, it provides yet another example of the sheer lunacy of our criminal justice system.
How on earth is it possible that someone who points what looks like a deadly weapon in the direction of a police officer can be back out on the streets in less than 18 months?
When will our judges and lawmakers wake up to the fact that while violent crime is rising, its perpetrators are frequently being given an easy ride?
Unsurprisingly, Pc Follows admits she has lost some confidence on the job as a result of her terrible ordeal.
Our broken criminal justice system is simply not providing police officers with the protection they require and deserve.
It is little wonder that Britain is now viewed by many as a soft touch when it comes to dealing with criminals.
Surely it is time to reverse the barbed trend of bowing down to law breakers?
We need proper sentences in tough prisons. There is already a vast body of evidence that proves beyond any doubt that the current system has failed.
How about looking after the interests of the police and the law abiding public for a change?
If this issue is not properly addressed, then the Government will end up with blood on its hands.