Shipley MP calls for end to 'lighter' jail terms for women

Ilkley Gazette: MP Philip Davies MP Philip Davies

Shorter prison sentences for women are discriminating against men, says a Wharfedale MP.

Shipley constituency MP, Philip Davies, hit out following a revelation that women across West Yorkshire are being sentenced to 17 months less in prison than men who committed the same crime.

Mr Davies, who has repeatedly called for gender to be ignored when sentencing, revealed the local sentencing through parliamentary questions.

The average sentence for a woman in 2012 for any indictable offence, which means it carries a sentence greater than can be handed down by magistrates and must be sent to Crown Court, was 31.6 months compared to 48.7 months.

Mr Davies said: “Right here in West Yorkshire, we have further proof that women are treated more leniently than men in our justice system. As these figures show, women are less likely to be sent to prison than men and to be given a shorter sentence if they are sent to prison. Yet those who are obsessed with the issue of equality seem to be happy to turn a blind eye to all this evidence of inequality where men are the ones who appear to be the ones discriminated against.”

Figures showed a huge discrepancy in sentencing for sexual offences with the women being handed 28 months compared with 81 for men - and women robbers also ‘got off lightly’, with an average 28.4 months in 2012, 11 months less than men sentence for the same crime.

Fraud for women carried a ten month less sentence at 18 months. The only offence category with little difference was criminal damage with women being given 33.6 months, just 2.5 less than men.

Across the region of the women sentenced 50 per cent were given immediate jail sentences, compared with 75 per cent of men.

Mr Davies added: “A crime is a crime regardless of gender and should be treated that way.”

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