My thanks to a number of people who sent me links to this. The article title alone is remarkable:
Licence fee jail terms ‘are not fair on women’: Government under fresh pressure for overhaul after figures show they are six times more likely to be sent to prison.
Let’s take the first part of the title. It implies, I think, that licence fee jail terms are less fair on women than men. Yet the story – resulting from a FOI request – shows that while 70% of the people found guilty of evasion were women, fewer than 30% of the people sent to jail were women.
Back to the title – ‘figures show they (women) are six times more likely to be sent to prison’. Six times more likely than who, in what circumstances? The start of the article:
The Government is under fresh pressure to overhaul the licence fee after it emerged that women who dodge the charge are six times more likely to be jailed than if they were convicted of another ‘serious’ crime.
Women make up just 4.5 per cent of the prison population in England and Wales, but nearly 30 per cent of the TV licence fee evaders sent to jail, figures reveal.
The clear inference is that anything over 4.5% is ‘unfair’. But what is unfair is that women make up only this proportion, because as we never tire of pointing out, referring to William Collins’s article on the matter, if men were treated as leniently as women in sentencing terms, five out of six men in British prisons wouldn’t be there.