New statistics released today show that women continue to be under-represented in the criminal sector, making up just 5% of the current prison population.
Despite improvements in gender equality in other areas of society, the low figure has stayed stubbornly resistant to the government’s attempts to increase the number of female criminals through a programme of cuts that hit women disproportionately hard.
Some blame the lack of suitable criminal role models for women. “Young girls just aren’t encouraged to get into crime enough by their parents and teachers,” said notorious mass-murderer Alice Murphy. “All of the cues they’re given at a young and impressionable age mean that they want to be models or princesses. That’s why when I give talks in schools I tell girls that in modern Britain anyone can stab a pensioner in the face, regardless of gender.”
Representatives of major criminal gangs have also pointed out other damaging consequences of failing to recognise and nurture criminal talent in women. “We’re effectively lowering standards within the industry as a whole by failing to address the old boys’ network that dominates organised crime,” explained Murphy. “This prejudice could be costing us billions every year.”
Justice Secretary Chris Grayling was keen to draw attention to some of the more encouraging prison population statistics. “10% of British inmates are veterans, suggesting that criminal activities are providing much needed job opportunities to our war heroes,” he said.
“And those same statistics show that the prison population is one of the most ethnically diverse groups in the UK, demonstrating that crime is providing jobs and opportunities to those groups who face systematic discrimination in other professions. So at least we’re getting something right.”