Press release

Sentencing row: Use prisons more, say over 50s

Thursday 9 June 2011

Older voters believe there would be far less crime in Britain if more use was made of prisons and there was less reliance on community service sentences.

Two thirds of over-50s - coincidentally polled by Populus on behalf of over-50s lifestyle organisation Saga just before political war broke out over sentencing - said they believed prison would be a stronger deterrent.

The stance was higher among men than women - 70% compared with 57% - while C2, D and E demographic classes were more adamant that a spell behind bars worked more effectively than a stint sweeping the streets, tidying parks or helping community groups.

“The survey was conducted before the arguments over prison sentencing started in the Commons. As such, it’s probably a far more objective cross section of opinion than if we’d asked the same questions after remarks by various politicians on the subject,” said Paul Green, Head of Communication at Saga.

Londoners and Scots were least enthusiastic that prison would be more of a deterrent – 56% and 59% respectively agreed – while people in the North West, Yorkshire and Humber – 69% - were most likely to favour prison over community service sentences.

Populus interviewed 11,289 people aged 50+, online between May 13 and 20, 2011. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.


For further information please contact the Saga press office on 01303 771529.