It’s more to do with an early General Election than tackling problems in the criminal justice system.
That’s my verdict on the new Tory Prime Minister’s hastily cobbled together package of measures on law and order. They come after:
Years of cuts in police numbers.
A botched privatisation of the probation service that caused such disasters it had to be reversed.
Record numbers of people imprisoned while numbers of prison officers have been cut by over 2,000.
Decimation of youth services in Northampton – cutting out early intervention that could divert young people from crime.
Cuts in neighbourhood wardens who are the first line of defence against crime.
I have always supported tough action on crime. I especially support early action to crack down on the first signs of trouble so problems aren’t left to fester in the community. That’s why things like the littering of nitrous oxide cannisters – like the ones I spotted at Links View this week, is so awful. Because they’re the soft end of what ends up as a drugs crisis.
Fighting crime calls for a whole community response, with properly resourced services working with the public and business community who often bear the brunt of local crime. Just this week I’ve pressed for police action to support a local business whose viability is threatened by crime and anti-social behaviour.
Labour’s policies will ensure we tackle crime at every level so that people feel safe in their homes and communities. Gimmicky announcements such as we’ve seen this week don’t do justice to the problems, let alone provide justice for the public.