Criminology, probation and stuff

Some musings on criminology with a focus on probation

Fall in crime figures

with one comment

The Guardian reports that, according to the most recent British Crime Survey figures, overall crime has fallen by 7%, that violent crime is stable,and that fatal stabbings are down by 21%. The only rise was seen in sexual offences. Hopefully the government and the other parties will use these new figures to try and convince the public that this Britain is not as broken as we might think… but I doubt it!

I do wonder how Labour will attempt to explain this fall in crime- will it be by arguing that their progressive policies of reducing social inequality and child poverty through the use of things like Sure Start and Child Tax Credits have helped to reduce crime or, will it be saying “we have put more people in prison and put more police on the streets which has reduced crime”? I am guessing it will be the latter which is a shame because I do think the Labour government has done some good things in this respect, it’s just that the good things tend to get sidelined in favour of the punitive. It is possible that being more punitive in one’s sentencing deters people from committing more crime but that is surely not the only thing and, by ignoring these things, Labour is doing itself a disservice.

It’s a shame that  law and order isn’t going to be ‘debated’ in any depth in the Leaders’ TV Debates and that we have to stick with what turned into a bidding war for more prison places between Labour and the Tories, and “prisons are colleges of crime” from the Lib Dems. I, for one, would be interested in knowing what the Lib Dems will do to prevent the judiciary from simply uptariffing people if they introduce a presumption against prison sentences of less than 6 months and I would be interested to know how, exactly, the Tories and Labour justify locking more people up when the recvidivism rate of former (low-medium risk level) prisoners is so high. That said, the lack of focus on law and order might suggest that it’s not such a big issue for people (or politicians at least) and so the increased punitiveness which followed previous elections which were fought and won on the ‘law and order ticket’ (such as 1979 and 1997) might be less likely to appear.

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Written by criminologyandstuff

April 22, 2010 at 5:54 pm

Posted in criminal justice

One Response

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  1. […] Fall in crime figures The Guardian reports that, according to the most recent British Crime Survey figures, overall crime has fallen by 7%, that violent crime is stable,and that fatal stabbings are down by 21%. The only rise was seen in sexual offences. Hopefully the government and the other parties will use these new figures to try and convince the public that this Britain is not as broken as we might think… but I doubt it! (Criminology, probation and stuff, 22.04.2010) […]


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