CLAIM: A British Army veteran who served in Northern Ireland during the Troubles is 54 times more likely than a Republican or Loyalist paramilitary to be prosecuted for alleged offences pre-dating the 1998 Belfast Agreement.
CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. Prosecutions to date suggest that ex-British Army personnel have been the subject of cases five times more than Republican and Loyalist suspects. The cited ratio of 54 times “more likely” was based on a snapshot of live prosecutions and takes no account of previous cases. Continue reading A British Army veteran who served in NI during the Troubles is 54x more likely to be prosecuted?
CLAIM: The DOJ and NIO joint fund an £8 million a year Programme for Tackling Paramilitary Activity and Organised Crime that funds engagement directly with paramilitary organisations, such as the UVF, UFF, RHC, and UDA.
CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. The cross-department Executive Programme for Tackling Paramilitary Activity and Organised Crime receives funds from the Northern Ireland Executive, and is not jointly funded by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Northern Ireland Office (NIO). To date, there is no evidence of funds being provided for engagement directly with paramilitary organisations by the programme.
Continue reading Do the DOJ and NIO joint fund an £8 million a year programme to engage directly with paramilitary organisations?
CLAIM: There is a high level of public support for restorative justice as a method of dealing with young offenders.
CONCLUSION: UNSUBSTANTIATED. According to surveys collected by NISRA and by the Public Prosecution Service, a majority of respondents support either restorative justice or diversionary options generally. Continue reading Is there a high level of support for restorative justice?
CLAIM: “Almost half of criminals released from prison in Northern Ireland went on to re-offend within 12 months of being freed.”
CONCLUSION: ACCURATE. However, while the article does break down re-offending rates among criminals released from prison, the majority of offenders receive sentences that do not require time in prison. The re-offending rate for Northern Ireland in 2012/13 was 18.5% for all offenders, which is similar to the rate documented in previous years, as well as in England & Wales. Continue reading Do half of freed criminals reoffend within a year?