Skip to main content

Easy to sound tough on crime

When it comes to crime in politics, it is easy enough to sound tough.  The honest answers usually seem 'soft'.  So, come general elections we expect to hear a tough talk on crime.

Tony Blair found a beautiful message in 1997: "Tough on crime; touch on the causes of crime."  It encapsulated the need to tackle crime at its roots, rather than simply deliver tough sentences.

It is perhaps inevitable that crime, once again,  hits centre stage with London Bridge Terrorist attack.  Here was a man, a convicted terrorist,  who had been released early.   The Tories seized the moment to lay blame on Labour and the Criminal Justice Act, 2003.  This, they said, set in train the early release process that led to the release of .....

It is a diversionary tactic from the scrutiny of a justice system and policing struggling through underfunding for nearly a decade of Tory rule.

Boris Johnson bottled out of the proposed interview with Andrew Neil on BBC television. Still, when he finally appeared this Sunday on the Andrew Marr, he blamed everyone else for almost everything the Tory government did during their decade in office.   It was all the fault of the previous Labour government.  He also appeared to disown his own party by saying he hadn't supported austerity.

Boris Johnson now says we need harsher sentencing.  This is odd because the 2003 Act provided for just that: harsher sentences.

As for the early release scheme, the Tories had a decade of reviews to change it.  What they did do was speed the process up.   Furthermore, the programme remains a central feature of the Justice Department's planning.

The plan published by the  Justice Department on their Website makes this clear. 

"5.2 Reduce the use of prison and increase the use of community and alternative sentences
How we will achieve this
Develop options for restricting the use of short custodial sentences
Implement a new Release on Temporary Licence policy framework
Consider ways to increase the use of non-custodial sanctions"
So, there it is.  While the last Labour government played a significant part in setting up the early release process, the Tories extended its use.  Now, of course, no doubt it will be abolished.   


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The lion and the wildebeest

Birds flock, fish school, bees swarm, but social being is more than simply sticking together.  Social groups enable specialisation and a sharing of abilities, and enhances ability, learning and creating new tricks. The more a group works together, the more effective they become as a team.  Chimpanzees learn from each other how to use stones to crack nuts, or sticks to get termites.  All around us we see cooperation and learning in nature.  Nature is inherently creative.  Pulling together becomes a rallying cry during a crisis.  We have heard it throughout the coronavirus pandemic.  "We are all in this together", a mantra that encourages people to adopt a common strategy. In an era of 'self-interest' and 'survival of the fittest,'  and 'selfish gene', we lose sight of the obvious conclusion from the evidence all around us.   Sticking together is more often the better approach.  This is valid for the lion as it is also for the wildebeest.   We don't

No evidence for vaccine link with autism

Public health bodies are worried that an alarming drop in childhood vaccinations is leading to a resurgence of diseases in childhood that we had all but eradicated.  Misinformation and scare stories about the harmful effects of vaccines abound on the internet and in social media.  Where they are based on 'science', it is highly selective, and often reliance is placed on falsehoods.  Conspiracy theories also abound - cover-ups, deception, lies. As a result, too many parents are shunning vaccinations for their children.  So, what does the published, peer-reviewed literature tell us about vaccincations? Are they safe and effective, or are there long term harmful effects?  A new report now provides some of the answers. New evidence published in the Cochrane Library today finds MMR, MMRV, and MMR+V vaccines are effective and that they are not associated with increased risk of autism. Measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella (also known as chickenpox) are infectious diseases cau

Therapeutic animal stress

Interacting with animals is known to be therapeutic,  particularly in reducing stress.  But do we consider sufficiently the effects this may have on the animals involved?   We might assume that because it is calming for us, then it must be so for the therapeutic animals, but is this so?  New research suggests that it isn't always without stress for the animals involved.  Positive human-animal interaction relates to changes in physiological variables both in humans and other animals, including a reduction of subjective psychological stress (fear, anxiety) and an increase of oxytocin levels in the brain.  It also reduces the 'stress' hormone, cortisol. Indeed, these biological responses have measurable clinical benefits.  Oxytocin has long been implicated in maternal bonding, sexual behaviour and social affiliation behaviours and in promoting a sense of well-being .  So far, so good.  We humans often turn to animals for stress relief, companionship, and even therapy.  We kno