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Boris's plans to deal with violent crime

(69 Posts)
Fennel Tue 13-Aug-19 16:01:28

As far as I understand it, he plans to increase the number of prisons to deter those involved in gang/violent crime.
Apart from the financial and staffing practicalities, do you think this is the answer?

Smileless2012 Tue 13-Aug-19 16:11:51

Yes, apart from as you say the financial and staffing practicalities. Longer sentences too if there are prison places available.

EllanVannin Tue 13-Aug-19 16:25:39

Why the need for more prisons if the plan is to deter crime/violence ?

RosieLeah Tue 13-Aug-19 16:36:41

The long-term answer to cutting crime is to tackle it where it the young. I live in a rough area and crime is bred into this people. All over the country, there is a problem with juvenile nuisance, but little is done. The children get away with minor things and move on to more serious stuff. The police know this, but they have to work within the law.

We need to go back to having bobbies on the beat. At the moment, the police are only there after the crime has been committed and the culprit is long gone. Yesterday, there was a knock on my door, and there stood a large policeman. My first thought was..'What have I done'...but he had come to discuss something I reported 3 days before! A minor incident which I reported on-line...and yet, when three boys broke into the building and were threatening us...I called 999 and they were too busy to come out!

Smileless2012 Tue 13-Aug-19 16:43:10

Facing a custodial sentence for committing a crime is a deterrent, or at least it should be.

I agree RosieLeah but I do wonder if the younger members of society all have the respect that we had at that age for the police.

Fennel Tue 13-Aug-19 16:56:53

Personally I think prison only hardens those who have offended.
There used to be an idea, from America I think, of bootcamps to teach them survival skills and productive social interdependence.
But perhaps things have gone too far now for that. And we haven't got the space there is in America.
We need more police too, as above.

kittylester Tue 13-Aug-19 16:59:04

We some how have to break the cycle dont we. I'm not sure this does!

paddyann Tue 13-Aug-19 17:04:33

prison doesn't work.Reducing crime should be the aim ,not increasing prison beds.The Prison population in the USA is massive and it doesn't deter anyone .
Prison sentences for minor/unviolent or a lot of other things should be changed to something more productive ,Sending some young people to prison just puts them in company that corrupts rather than helps them change for the better

Smileless2012 Tue 13-Aug-19 17:11:50

So what would you suggest paddyann? We see a lot of people doing community service, in fact if it wasn't for them all the work that's been done in the cemetery near us wouldn't have happened.

The restoration of old head stones has received awards and the cemetery looks beautiful.

varian Tue 13-Aug-19 17:21:15

England and Wales already has the highest prison population per head of population in Western Europe.

Penal policy should be evidence based and all the evidence points to the failure of the present regime in terms of incidence of re-offending, which is the most appropriate measure of success. Terms of imprisonment of less than six months are particularly counter-productive.

Instead of dog whistle policy announcements aimed at the right-wing "lock em up and throw away the key" voters, a responsible government would take measures to ensure that prison sentences are appropriate and effective.

There are four separate reasons for sending someone to prison- punishment, deterrence, rehabilitation and protection of the public.

In my opinion protection of the public is the only good reason to imprison an offender if other measures are proven to be more effective.

crystaltipps Tue 13-Aug-19 17:42:54

Agree with the above. Locking people up for longer doesn’t stop crime. The tories have cut police and prison officer numbers, not to mention help for struggling families, youth services, help for those with mental health and drug and alcohol problems. All these are linked to crime. An acquaintance of mine’s husband was sent to prison for a first time white collar, non violent offence. He was locked up for 23 hours a day, no education or other services, he spent some time in a high security prison at vast cost as there were no places elsewhere. A complete waste of time and money, he could have paid his debt to society in a far more constructive way. A high % of those in our prisons have been through the “care” system, lack basic education are more likely to have mental health, drug or alcohol problems. With fewer staff inside there is little hope of rehabilitation.yes, our prisons should have far more resources, staff, and effort put into protecting the public and re-education.

GillT57 Tue 13-Aug-19 17:51:50

By the time people are in the court system it is too late, investment needs to be in stopping them committing the crimes in the first place. Money which has been cut in the funding of sure start centres, youth initiatives, drug programmes etc. This big blustery talk of prisons and sentencing is aimed at a certain group of voters, probably Mail and Express readers and is cynical and manipulative like most of the recent announcements

winterwhite Tue 13-Aug-19 17:52:44

I was horrified to read of Pritti Patel saying she wanted potential criminals to feel 'terror' at the thought of being arrested. This is the UK. This is 2019. That seems to me to amount to hate talk in itself.

Custodial sentences for juveniles need a far greater element of training with much better post-release co-ordination onto schemes run (I suppose) by the probation services.

Other relatively inexpensive solutions would be restoring youth services and providing much more in the way of support services for parents of 10-15s.

In the longer run of course sufficient affordable housing and enough new funding for schools to enable them to keep exclusions down, with proper alternatives for excluded children.

Day6 Tue 13-Aug-19 18:14:15

I do think the victims of crime tend to get a rough deal because we almost shrug now that nothing much can be done. If we go down that road criminals win and crime then pays.

I fully support Boris regarding his thoughts that we do have to become tough on crime, have a more visible police presence and get the message out that those who commit crimes will be a) caught and b) punished accordingly.

It's all very well to sniff and say this is a Tory policy and so find fault but I do think we have to do what we can to create a UK where people feel safe AND supported in their own environment. Criminals should not call the shots and if that involves them being caught because of a larger police force and put behind bars for longer because we have more prison spaces, I have no problems whatsoever with that.

Day6 Tue 13-Aug-19 18:19:28

This big blustery talk of prisons and sentencing is aimed at a certain group of voters, probably Mail and Express readers

Oh dear. Typical left-wing Guardian reader.

I'd hope the talk reaches the ears of victims of crime too, some of whom read the Observer, Mirror, i, or the Guardian

This is not a left or right wing matter, unless of course you imagine it's OK to have criminal tendencies and for leniency to be the order of the day? If you support policing and coming down hard on those who break the law you are automatically right wing and/or read the Mail?

That's a new one. hmm

dragonfly46 Tue 13-Aug-19 18:20:00

In the Netherlands they spend more money on rehabilitation than on prisons. As a result there are far fewer reoffenders and prisons have actually been closed.

growstuff Tue 13-Aug-19 18:22:45

Not very new.

varian Tue 13-Aug-19 18:29:24

Being a victim of crime does not inevitably make someone a reactionary advocate of "tougher prison sentences" Day6.

I don't know whether you have been a victim of crime but I have and my main concern is to advocate policies which will lessen the chances of you or anyone else becoming victims of crime. We can only do that if we adopt rational evidence based penal policies.

MaizieD Tue 13-Aug-19 18:48:50

It's all very well to sniff and say this is a Tory policy

If you read the posts before sounding off, Day6 I think you'll find that posters are saying the the problem is in part the fault of past tory policy of cuts in the services which are related to crime prevention and the rehabilitation of ex-prisoners. I suspect, that cuts to the prison service itself, and privatisation of prisons, doesn't help, either.

But Johnson's announcement is undoubtedly specifically aimed at a certain demographic. Those who don't recognise that there is a balance to be had between respect for the victims of crime and attempting to rehabilitate criminals. It isn't one thing or the other.

crystaltipps Tue 13-Aug-19 18:49:12

I think most people have been victims of one crime or another, “coming down hard on those who break the law” doesn’t mean locking up for longer and longer sentences. Surely it’s better to prevent so many crimes in the first place, making sure those who do commit crimes get caught and are given sentences which mean they are less likely to repeat the offence, and make a contribution to society in one way or another. This means - more police on the streets, more help for those with mental health, drug and alcohol problems, help for families with difficulties, more emphasis on education and rehabilitation inside. We have the biggest per capita prison population in Europe and it doesn’t seem to deter crime. Still, if we are becoming a vassal of the USA we’d better copy their penal system. That works.

GillT57 Tue 13-Aug-19 19:01:52

day6. As you like. I am not a leftie Guardian reader, but one only has to look at the headlines in the red tops to see what I mean. If you choose to misunderstand my point there is little I can do about that.

quizqueen Tue 13-Aug-19 19:04:32

I am very happy to be separated from criminals by bars and I don't care how long they are in there for as long as it's a long, long time. The innocent public should be the priority here, not the offenders.

Day6 Tue 13-Aug-19 19:18:52

a reactionary advocate of "tougher prison sentences

There is NOTHING reactionary in wanting the punishment to fit the crime, is there?

I fully believe we have to 'temper justice with mercy' (as the Bard believes) but there have been a number of cases over the years when sentencing of serious crime has been extremely lenient, for no good reason.

Our prisons should try to rehabilitate offenders -I firmly believe in that - but sadly trying to deter young criminals when all they know in family life is criminality and no sense of right from wrong means the state has to pick up the tab for any remedial work - much of which is totally ineffective.

Very few criminally inclined young people go straight because because they are able to have a game of table tennis on a Tuesday night down at the community centre. When their mates are hanging around outside with drugs, alcohol and the spoils of a few burglaries they find each other.

I agree, we should try to show them how life can be different, but sadly, like always tends to gravitate towards like. Family life is important but sadly many of the criminally inclined come from homes where dishonesty and substance abuse are a way of life.

Not sure how you break that cycle because very few have Damascene experiences because of intervention and go on to a dramatically change their attitude or actions. The intervention is needed at the mother's knee. How do we teach people to be honest and good, concerned parents?

I believe in helping young people to make the most of their opportunities, especially if they come from disadvantaged backgrounds but you also have to change the company they keep as well, and that's a gargantuan task, if not an impossible one.

I don't see that a 'deterrent' stance, such as the one BJ is going to initiate is a bad thing. It's probably long overdue, in truth. I think we can all agree that crime/lawlessness isn't going to improve society and we cannot allow it to flourish because we don't have the people power on the streets and in the judicial system.

sharon103 Tue 13-Aug-19 19:22:42

I agree with you quizqueen
I also think a life sentence should mean life.

growstuff Tue 13-Aug-19 19:23:13

How many people who have been locked up for crime do you actually know personally, Day6?

They don't all conform to your stereotype.