Newspaper headlines: Crime and punishment divides press

Newspaper headlines: Crime and punishment divides press

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The Times says companies have written to Chancellor Philip Hammond warning him that high streets risk losing some of their most popular pubs and restaurants because of big rises in business rates. They have asked him to rethink plans under which some outlets will be hit with a 42% increase this year, says the paper.

Telegraph front page

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The Daily Telegraph says Justice Secretary Liz Truss will announce that prison numbers will not be cut to achieve a political “quick fix”, as she says “it is right” that “wicked” criminals spend longer behind bars.

Guardian front page

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The Guardian says media organisations – including the paper – and civil rights groups have accused the government of launching a “full-frontal attack” on whistleblowers over proposals to hugely increase prison sentences for revealing state secrets and to prosecute journalists under the Espionage Act. The paper denies it was consulted on the draft proposals.

Express front page

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The Daily Express reports that Labour and Lib Dem peers have provoked anger by plotting a series of amendments in the House of Lords to delay Theresa May’s Brexit bill, which is needed to trigger Article 50 and leave the European Union.

I front page

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Meanwhile, the i says according to deputy leader Tom Watson, Labour is planning to divert migrants to big cities with less pressure on public services.

Mail front page

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Whitehall blunders have cost the taxpayer £5.5bn in two years, exclaims the Daily Mail. The Mail reports on analysis of government departments, which includes £2m spent on deportation flights for failed asylum seekers, £600,000 on double-paid Christmas bonus payments to benefit claimants and £11m on two RAF drones that crashed during testing.

Metro front page

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Most Metropolitan Police officers think Tasers should be carried by all police and one in four wants every officer to carry firearms, says the Metro.

Sun front page

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The Sun reports that an Albanian murderer deported in 2009 has returned to the UK “under the noses of the bungling Border Force” and now runs a successful car wash business in Leicestershire.

Mirror front page

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The Daily Mirror says a friend of Karen Matthews claims she was not the brains behind the hoax kidnap of her daughter Shannon in 2008 – because she lacked the intelligence – and others helped.

Star front page

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The Daily Star reports that socialite Tara Palmer-Tomkinson, who was found dead last week at the age of 45, was facing debts of £200,000 after investing money in her struggling fashion firm.

Financial Times front page

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The Financial Times says that, according to consultants and investor groups, one in 10 of Britain’s top 100 companies is considering ditching “long-term incentive plans” as shareholders push back against excessive executive pay.

Several papers concern themselves with matters of crime and punishment, as Justice Secretary Liz Truss prepares to deliver a speech rejecting calls for cuts in the number of people in prison.

The Daily Telegraph reports that Ms Truss will say it would be dangerous to public safety if the number of inmates went down, simply to meet a target.

The paper describes the forthcoming speech as a “rebuke” to Labour, which had called for the prison population to be reduced by half.

The Daily Express praises the justice secretary’s approach, calling it a “forceful riposte” to Labour’s “softly, softly” attitude.

While the Express acknowledges that rehabilitation is vital, it says Ms Truss’s assertion that “public protection is paramount” cannot be said often enough.

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An editorial in the Times, though, cautions that prisons in England and Wales are “full to bursting” and will breed more violence and criminality if ministers fail to tackle overcrowding.

The paper urges the justice secretary to revisit sentencing guidelines, which are “keeping too many people inside for too long”, as the only way to repair what it calls a broken system.

Writing in the i, commentator Ian Birrell challenges politicians to “defy the media” and adopt some radical new approaches.

He argues that tougher sentencing is rarely the answer.

When it comes to knife crime, for example, he says the threat of prison does not deter “scared or silly people from carrying these weapons, just as prohibition of drugs fuels gangsterism”.


“What a waste!” proclaims the front of the Daily Mail.

The paper accuses government ministers and officials of a series of blunders that have cost the public £5.5bn in two years.

The Mail has analysed the accounts of Whitehall’s 20 departments.

It says the biggest money waster was the Ministry of Defence, which wrote off almost £2bn – including £11m on two RAF drones that crashed during testing.

Another £1m went on x-ray equipment which was intended to screen passengers for TB at two airports but was then scrapped after a change in policy.

The paper laments a combination of “blunder, muddle and incompetence”, and describes such “arrant waste” as an insult to taxpayers.


The Sun reports how a man it calls an “Albanian murderer” was deported from the UK but managed to sneak back in under the noses of the “bungling” Border Force.

It says the “violent criminal” was kicked out of the UK in 2009 when he was found to have escaped from prison in Albania.

He is pictured apparently running a car wash business in Leicestershire.

The paper’s leader column says the case “beggars belief”, and exposes how vulnerable Britain’s borders are.


While variety may be the spice of life, the Times reports that bland uniformity is more the order of the day for millions of us when it comes to lunch.

A survey suggests that more than three-quarters of office workers have eaten the same midday meal for the past nine months.

More than seven in ten of the unimaginative diners said eating the same thing was “easy”.

In the most extreme example, one respondent reported eating a ham sandwich and a piece of fruit every day since they started work 20 years ago.

Source: BBC BBC

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