NOTHING stirs up more letters to the Gazette than the logic of judges in sentencing criminals.

In this week’s paper we see a man caught with £6,000 of class A drugs while riding a motorbike without a driving licence or insurance. To make things worse, he tried to run off when caught.

He has been allowed to walk free from court with a suspended sentence, which means he could go to prison if caught again. But isn’t prison what most of us would expect anyway?

Even discounting the considerable amount of drugs the man was carrying, most of us would consider ourselves to be in a lot of hot water if we had committed the driving offences and then tried to run off from a police officer.

Prison reformers argue that keeping people locked up is not helping them to reform, but it certainly helps the rest of us to live in peace without being put in danger by criminals.

Two recent terror attacks have highlighted the dangers of leniency all too starkly.

The tragic attack at London Bridge and Fisherman’s Hall involved a convicted terrorist who had been released on licence.

The attack in Streatham at the weekend was perpetrated by a man who had been released from prison just weeks ago, despite the fact he was apparently under surveilance.

Arguing that prison does not change offenders’ behaviour is not a reason to let criminals walk free.

Yes, prisoners should be given every opportunity to change their ways.

But prison serves two other important roles. It keeps the law-abiding population safer and serves as a strong deterrent for those who wish to hurt others.