Wednesday, 29 August 2007

David Cameron's Crime and Punishment Blueprint

...or is that greeprint these days. Seems to be recycled, anyhow.

It appears a bit flimsy and knee-jerk, if you ask me. Some good bits but also bad parts, often bursting with unforeseen consequences. Cameron's intro talk hinted at potential actions but that does not come across in the document.

No talk of dealing with street violence (knives, kickings, drugs) or of the welfare hammock that exists come-what-may.

A summary by the Times is the basis for my response here.


• Abolish the 40-question "stop form", which police have to fill in every time they halt someone in the street.


• Extend "stop and search" powers to make it easier for officers below the rank of inspector to carry out searches for weapons or drugs.

Good, but you need to have the nerglers to fend off the "human rights" and "Muslim oppression" nonsense you will get.

• Increase the time police spend on the beat by slashing bureaucracy.


• Make police accountable to an individual directly elected by local people - either an elected mayor or local crime commissioner.

I know this is a trendy thing, but I do not yet support elected police chiefs or sheriffs. It will become a pandering exercise for special interest groups, such as Sharia-friendly or other "sensitive" nonsense peddled by self-appointed "community" leaders.

• Introduce a national border police force with responsibility for stopping illegal immigration and smuggling.

One needs to work out how to kick out people as well. Leaving the EU is a step forward.


• Scrap Labour's early release scheme under which 3,000 prisoners - more than 300 of them guilty of violent crimes - have already been freed.


• Extend maximum sentence that a magistrate can hand out to a year.

Not sure what this does. Better to charge people with the right crime. I am against tinkering like this.

• Introduce minimum sentences, with no chance of parole until the minimum has been served.

Better to have the prison space to enable the Judges to act accordingly. Unforeseen consequences lurk, otherwise.

• Delay young offenders' access to a driving licence when they reach 17.

This is totally hat-stand. All it will mean is they will be unemployable and will just drive illegally. If they are capable of driving and can prove it, they should be free to drive. If they offend again they should be detained, so of course they would not drive. This is just vindictive.

• Build more prisons as they become necessary.

Build more NOW. How about 50-100,000 new places to house those committing 50% of the crime?


• Review licensing laws, including the rules on 24-hour opening.

• Make pubs responsible for rowdy customers inside and outside premises.

Look into the psychological impact of 'vertical drinking halls'. Better to limit NOISE from music heard outside the premises. Better to penalise large places vs small via licensing charges. Small, cosy pubs with lots of seats should not bear equal burden to a massive Yates.

• Clamp down on shop owners who sell drink to under-18s.

I.e. just enforce the laws we have.

• Examine whether councils need additional powers to tackle irresponsible drinks promotions.

I have examined it for 34ms and the answer is No. Councils spend too much money as it is and the promotions are the business of the company, not government.


• Return the last say over "exclusions" - formerly known as expulsions - to schools by scrapping appeals panels.

Yes. Sensible.

• Make home-school contracts, which define what is expected of parents and pupils, enforceable - and a requirement for admission or grounds for exclusion if they are not met.

Better to just allow schools to set their own rules and allow them to expel kids who do not behave. This does need an environment with a surplus of good school places, and this is best done by allowing new Schools outside of LEA control to be formed anywhere, not just in certain places as defined by Government, which is the Tory plan, as that will just move the problem about and cause all manner of inefficiencies and bureaucracy.

• Halt the closure of special schools and end the idea that schools should cater for every child, no matter what their needs, aptitudes or behaviour.

Agreed. Remove the Socialist dogma of "equality".


• Use the tax and benefits system to support families.

Better if you stop funding dysfunction. Withdraw housing to wayward families. No more benefits if a person on benefits grows their family. Flat Tax.

• Give all employees with children the right to request flexible working.

Is that "request" or "demand", Dave? Better to reduce taxation and allow pooling of tax allowances to enable one partner to not work and increase the chances of them raising the kids properly. Employers are finding it hard to compete - a job exists because work needs to be done, not as a convenient place to sit while being paid. What would a politican know about that, eh?


• Work with the music industry to stop lyrics and videos from popularising guns, gangs and the degradation of women.

I disagree. Better to use ridicule to make the "cul-cha" seem idiotic and lame-ass, which it is. The MSM and BBC are very much to blame for their sad-act "right on" ness.

• Regulations to stop films and video games promoting violence and misogyny to young people.

How about enforcing the laws we have?

Some good points, but it misses out on the issues I put forward here. which deals with the immediate issues of violence. People need to know they can challenge bad behaviour and be backed up by the law and the courts. Yoofs need to know that if they cut up rough they are likely to spend a very unpleasant time with no phone, no TV, no gameboys. Bit of 1950's life for them.

I see measures, but still no realization of the issue of consequence - the lack of which is at the heart of most crime and disorder.

Verdict? C-. Must try harder.


Mark Wadsworth said...

99% agreed as usual. Somebody somewhere reckons that magistrates can jail people for up to one year anyway, so DC hasn't done his homework as usual.

Roger Thornhill said...

Conservative fact-checked? Never!

To me it is not the absolute term, but the change that I am concerned about.