I wasn't surprised when I took a look at the government's new e-petition website to see the number of petitions to do with the justice system, crime and punishment.
From the death penalty, to who decides sentences, the breadth and volume of petitions shows just what an emotive subject our criminal justice system can be.
Some will dismiss the more extreme petitions as being the work of the "hang 'em and flog 'em" brigade, or the work of eccentrics. But to do so would be to ignore a wider sense that more needs to be done to boost the flagging confidence in our justice system.
There are petitions from across the spectrum of opinion. Some, such as handing sentencing decisions to a panel of taxpayers, or victims being given a menu of punishments to give to an offender, are perhaps more novel than others. Unfortunately though, what we don't know is which petitions are proposed and signed by actual victims of crime, rather than simply those with strong 'political' views.
But whether it's victims themselves or those who are indignant on their behalf - these and other viewpoints have common themes which highlight the need for greater transparency about sentencing decisions and for the needs of victims to be better met. All of which can have an impact on confidence in the system.
Our experience as an independent charity helping tens of thousands of victims and witnesses every day bears this out. Too often people will feel let down because sentences haven't been explained properly.
Imagine you are victim of crime and see your offender at the shops, out "on licence" after two years of a four year sentence. You weren't told that this could be the case, or informed that they had been let out. Understandably you would probably feel angry and badly treated by the system.
Our research shows the most common priorities for improving the criminal justice system for victims isn't necessarily harsher sentences, as some of the e-petitions suggest, but for greater clarity over sentencing decisions (48%).
Communication is one of the central issues we hear time and time again from the people we help. In a recent survey of victims, just over a third who reported a crime didn't hear what, if anything, had happened after they had reported it.
Where victims are kept informed and sentences explained, confidence in the justice system increases.
Over the coming months it will be interesting to see if any of the petitions get enough signatures to be debated by MPs or shift political opinion. There will be the mad and bad, the not so good and the very good. That is what democracy about.
Either way, we will be working with justice agencies and the new All Party Parliamentary Group for victims and witnesses to ensure that victim's needs are better met and they are better informed.