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Swiss move to toughen up penalty regime

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12:03 CEST+02:00

The Swiss government moved on Wednesday to toughen its penalty regime, saying that it wanted to end conditional fines for minor crimes and reintroduce detention terms instead.

Under the Swiss justice system, courts generally sentence offenders to conditional fines for less serious crimes.

However, such sentences have come under criticism as they spare the offender from paying the fine on condition that the individual does not commit the same crime during a specified period.

"A credible and effective penalty needs the confidence of the population, they must believe in the effect of a penalty. Otherwise, the penalty would lose its impact," the government said.

"As a result, the Federal Council proposes to give up the conditional fine sentences and to reintroduce short detention terms," said the government.

It would look at setting up a system of electronic bracelets as a means of restricting offenders' movements, so as to be able to implement such penalties outside of the prison system, it added.

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