Professor Mark Findlay comments on the controversial fines-for-crimes scheme in New South Wales

30 June 2008

Professor Mark Findlay,who holds a Chair in Criminal Law at Sydney Law School, was quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald on Saturday, 28th June 2008 in relation to the controversial fines-for-crimes scheme in New South Wales.

The article claims that one third of fines issued in the first six months of the Scheme remain upaid.

The NSW Police Minister, David Campbell, defended the new laws stating that it is a better use of resources because it cuts red tape for police and victims.

But the Opposition asserts that the Scheme's major flaw was that offenders who paid fines on time did not have a criminal conviction recorded.

However, Professor Findlay argued that the laws were as effective as court-issued fines.

"The argument that the day in court will deter others rests on the assumption that these offenders make intelligent and rational choices about petty theft and offensive behaviour, and this is just not supported by the deterrence research," he said.

Professor Findlay said better surveillance and more careful retail practice would be more effective at reducing crimes such as shoplifting than any action by police or the courts.

To view the entire article - Discretion over indiscretions not paying either

Contact: Greg Sherington

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