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Making sure crime doesn't pay.

Byline: By Kathy Secker

The unnamed Jesmond student who claims he's been dodging fares on the Metro for the last five years makes a good case for proving that crime does indeed pay.

By his reckoning, he's saved himself pounds 1,500 in five years, and only had to fork out a paltry pounds 40 in fines for the three occasions when he was caught out by ticket inspectors. So what's the lesson to be learnt from this?

Obviously, his punishment is not seen as a sufficient deterrent to stop him from re-offending; instead he's seeing his fines as a legal cut-price alternative to paying the true costs of his travel.

One way to disabuse him of these misconceptions would be to ban him from the Metro for life, an ASBO, in other words, another would be to hike up the fines for persistent offenders to the point where they have some significance. Twenty pounds is a paltry penalty, but what if it went up ten-fold for every subsequent offence?

At some point it should be possible to wipe that self-satisfied, smug grin off our un-named student's face and re-introduce him to the realities of life as the rest of us have to live it.
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Copyright 2006 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Sep 30, 2006
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