Monday, 16 April 2018

Tory approach to crime invites gated communities and private security

Crime is an issue of growing concern in London. There have been the headlines recently about the number of deaths, particularly of young people in the capital over the past year.

At local level there has been a myriad of crimes, varying from theft to violence against the person.

The cry goes up what can be done about it? Well, it is not a coincidence that as the government continues along a road that seems to be about decimating the police as a public service, this must have some effect.

There has been £1 billion cut from the Metropolitan Police budgets, with 20,000 police officers being removed from the streets. This reduction in police resources, has come at a time when the population is increasing, with the demands on the police growing.

Some might suspect an idealogical motivation on behalf of the Conservative Party regarding cutting the police. It is an approach they seem to take to a number of our most precious public services. Keep cutting resources, so that that service becomes so poor that the option to privatise can be more easily sold.

In the case of policing, this agenda is something people really do need to think carefully about. Do we want a society where those with wealth live in gated communities patrolled by private security firms, whilst a sort of law of the jungle operates outside those gates? It is certainly not the sort of community that I would want to live in.

What is needed is to fully funded criminal justice system. The police need to be given the resources so that they can deal with the problems of crime. But the prison and probation services also need to be funded and run properly. There is little point in incarcerating people, so that they can then come out and commit more crime. There needs to be far more invested in a more holistic justice system – not one premised on how much can be made out of it by the private sector.

published Wanstead & Woodford Guardian - 12/4/2018
Wanstead & Woodford + Ilford Recordeer - 19/4/2018

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