A new approach to crime

This week the government made more announcements about dealing with crime.  They tell us that the Prime Minister has ordered an urgent review into the prison sentences of violent and sexual offenders to ensure the public are properly protected from the most dangerous criminals. The review,beginning immediately, will focus on violent and sexual offenders, assessing if their sentences truly reflect the severity of their crimes. It will look at whether we need to change the law so they cannot be let out if they have not served their full time. Finally, it will examine how we can break the vicious cycle of prolific, repeat offenders.

This review is part of wider attack on crime, recruiting 20,000 new police officers, creating 10,000 new prison places and increasing stop and search powers. The aim is to keep  dangerous criminals  off the streets.

The  new prison places will come from   building new modern, efficient prisons which will provide better opportunities to reform criminals, meaning less re-offending and a lower burden on the taxpayer. Offering  strengthened stop and search powers will give  the police full support in combatting  serious violence and keeping people safe.

The government  will also publish draft guidance on measures in the Offensive Weapons Act , paving the way for new criminal offences that will help to stop knives and dangerous acids making their way into criminal use.

Are there other features you would like to see in an effective counter crime strategy? Clearly strong policing of our borders to keep out international criminals would be welcome. I also favour more work on rehabilitation and non custodial sentences for lesser crimes where there is no violence involved and where there is good chance of avoiding re offending.



  1. Mark B
    August 13, 2019

    Good morning

    First let me thank our kind host for finally putting up my post on what public spending we wanted stopped. On topic. Short. No names. No links. One wonders, apart from telling the truth, has done. 😉

    Finally, it will examine how we can break the vicious cycle of prolific, repeat offenders.

    This is easy to solve. Use the three strike rule. Commit three or more serious crimes and you go to prison for life. Unless of course you are prepared to give Queens Evidence.

    You will not abolish know crime or any crime. You can however reduce it by tackling the root causes and one of those is drugs, which is a whole new matter.

    1. James1
      August 13, 2019

      The ‘war on drugs’ was lost years ago. It’s about time this was acknowledged and decriminalisation measures were taken. We should have learned a lesson from the prohibition era in America. Alcohol and tobacco can be as dangerous but we don’t ban either, we tax them. Decriminalising the use of drugs is the only way to shut down the gangsters and put them out of business.

      1. Anonymous
        August 13, 2019

        What do you mean ? Only a small minority take drugs… a huge success !

        1. Hope
          August 13, 2019

          Your govt will need to change the selection procedure for high office in the police. Like other public sector bodies it has been infested with left wing liberal agenda. Until you change the personnel to believe in change the approach to crime will be wasted.

          That includes CPS and head thereof and judiciary.

        2. Mike Wilson
          August 14, 2019

          My young adult sons tell me the vast majority of their friends take drugs.

          1. Anonymous
            August 14, 2019

            My young adult sons tell me that most of their friends don’t.

            In my own circles I know of no-one who takes drugs.

      2. Richard1
        August 13, 2019

        Possibly. Or we could enforce the law.

        1. steve
          August 13, 2019


          ‘Possibly. Or we could enforce the law’

          What laws would that be ? The unpopular ones i.e anti motorist cash cow laws, or the ones they don’t enforce because it’s too much bother ?

          A bloody reference number is no damn use to someone who’s just been burgled.

          You have to start with police reform and get them dealing with more crime and less revenue collection on behalf of unwanted governments.

      3. Pud
        August 13, 2019

        You claim that decriminalisation will put gangsters out of business. What makes you think the criminals will retire instead of moving onto another illegal activity? If criminals didn’t adapt we wouldn’t have to guard against phishing emails etc.

      4. Lifelogic
        August 14, 2019

        I tend to agree with this on balance. Drug are so widely available anyway. The authorities cannot even keep them out of prison after all. But decriminalising them will certainly increase the numbers of people taking them, increase the pressure on people to try them and increase the vast damage that that drugs so often do.

        It is one of the few issues that I think is rather finely balanced I cannot quite make up my mind. It is not clear cut and certainly not clear cut for all drugs.

      5. Anonymous
        August 14, 2019

        Gangsters don’t stop being gangsters because of legalisation. They go into bootlegging instead. Unless what you’re suggesting is that recreational drugs should be untaxed unlike tobacco and free on the NHS !!!

        Gangsters will always be gangsters and find ways to make nefarious livings.

        The only way to deal with them is bang them up for very long terms.

      6. NickC
        August 14, 2019

        James1, The war on “drugs” was never fought. If “drugs” (defined as drugs taken without medical necessity to alter the taker’s perceptions) were treated as tobacco has been treated (ie: “uncool”) then drug use would reduce.

        Moreover, how would you “decriminalise” “drugs”. Which drugs? Most drugs are medicinal and are very closely controlled by law. Are you going to get rid of those laws? If so why would you buy acyclovir off the street? How do you distinguish – in law – between safely (legally) controlled drugs which are restricted, and the so-called “recreational drugs”.

        And who picks up the pieces from the inevitably increased use consequent on decriminalisation? Free drugs on the NHS? Free treatment? The decriminalisation mob have just not thought this through.

    2. Martin in Cardiff
      August 13, 2019

      When I last checked, it cost around fifty thousand pounds a year to keep someone in prison.

      Could we afford that?

      Incidentally, among the eighty-five thousand or so UK prisoners, about one in eight were born outside of this country. That parallels the proportions of people outside generally.

      However, about four out of five of them smoke, as compared with only one in six of those who are free.

      So we can only deduce, that we should watch smokers far more carefully than we do people from overseas, and that employers would be far wiser, in choosing trust-worthy staff by that measure too.

      1. Mark B
        August 13, 2019

        So your solution would be not to lock criminals up ?

        1. Martin in Cardiff
          August 13, 2019

          No, my solution would be rather to reduce the incidence of crime, as Labour did quite significantly.

          The total costs of crime far, far exceed overseas aid and European Union contributions put together.

          We spend over a billion a year just on clearing up dog fouling for goodness’ sake.

        2. steve
          August 13, 2019

          Mark B

          No, by the sounds of it he advocates locking up anyone who smokes, and I assume any English smoker who’s taxes go towards providing his country with free prescriptions.

      2. Know-Dice
        August 13, 2019

        Or if you look in to ethnicity, there is one group in prison that vastly exceeds the proportion in the general outside population.

        Graph on page 11 of this Commons briefing document, available here:


      3. Lifelogic
        August 13, 2019

        Well yes but what is the cost of all the many crimes they would commit if they are not in prison and all the crimes that others would commit if they were not deterred by the threat of prison?

        Anyway with modern advances technology why does it have to cost £50K per person? Huge inefficiencies in the provision and lots of over paid senior people one assumes. Plus all the litigation and lawyers getting in on the bean feast one assumes.

      4. Caterpillar
        August 13, 2019

        Martin in Cardiff,

        Yep 25 to 85k per year depending on your of prison, security and whether PFIed. Of course one hopes there are efficiency gains to be made with more prisons brought forward but a working system should eventually be net free – like a quality system for society. It currently fails like any inspected in quality system; parents, school, softness for minor crime (short sentences are like not finishing a course of antibiotics), poverty, lack of focus ….etc. You are correct there is an issue with the representation in prison populations, I think over 90% male with females not given sufficient custodial sentences.

      5. steve
        August 13, 2019

        Martin in Cardiff

        “…we should watch smokers far more carefully than we do people from overseas, and that employers would be far wiser, in choosing trust-worthy staff by that measure too.”

        Bigotry, no other word for it.

        1. Martin in Cardiff
          August 14, 2019

          Logic, no other word for it,

          There, that’s sorted it for you.

          1. steve
            August 14, 2019

            Oh I do apologise, besides bigotry I should have included words like; ‘irrelevant little man from an irrelevant peripheral’ ….thinks people should be spied upon and denied the right to earn a living simply because they smoke.

            Sorted then, eh.

    3. jerry
      August 13, 2019

      @Mark B; I’m often as critical when comments do not appear, but cut some slack, our host might be on holiday!

    4. Mike Stallard
      August 13, 2019

      The Police ought to be a force. When gangs terrify local people (riding bikes through a superstore in Brighton for example), you need a stronger force to face up to them.
      That is not here at the moment. It used to be the Police Force.
      People still do what they have always done – look the other way, stare, walk away. Now I think a lot of us are actually frightened to intervene as gangs are armed with knives and, sometimes now, handguns.
      Violent behaviour produces stronger and stronger violent behaviour on both sides until going out of your (burgled?) house gets dangerous – which it is in some parts of this country now.
      It is so easy for Police Service Employees to sit on their hands in front of a computer screen checking for “hatecrime” or “Islamophobic comments”.

      1. Martin in Cardiff
        August 13, 2019

        The murder rate in the UK, and across the European Union generally, is pro-rata only about one-sixth of that in the US.

        Try not to panic, Mike.

        1. sm
          August 13, 2019

          I’m sure the mourning friends and relatives of the latest victims in London and elsewhere will feel greatly cheered by those statistics.

          1. Martin in Cardiff
            August 13, 2019

            Relatives of people who commit suicide also mourn.

            There are many times more of those than there are murders, and a fair proportion of those are attributable to the hopelessness in which so many find themselves trapped in Tory Britain.

        2. Fedupsoutherner
          August 13, 2019

          Martin, who the hell wants it to get as bad as the USA? Do you? Isn’t it bad enough now? Until you loss a relative to violence then I don’t think you can really begin to understand how devastating it is particularly when they are in no way to blame. Stop posting to seek attention or are you a clone of Andy?

          1. Martin in Cardiff
            August 13, 2019

            I’m just reminding people of how draconian sentencing and armed police in the US apparently do not deter crime.

          2. Anonymous
            August 14, 2019

            Martin in Cardiff

            We are the exception not the norm as regards an unarmed police. All other countries have armed police too – including the most law abiding.


            What were we doing right in the fifties and sixties that made this country so law abiding ?

            We don’t live in Tory Britain. These are not Tories running the country – they are Liberals.

        3. The Prangwizard
          August 13, 2019

          So we should not act until it gets to the same rate – that seems to be your thinking.

        4. NickC
          August 14, 2019

          Martin, The highest murder rate by far is in Venezuela at about 81 per 100,000 population (Insight UK gov funded) partly because of the socialist civil unrest, not just the narrow definition of intentional homicide. You will recall that Venezuela is widely admired by your Mr Corbyn as a model for the UK.

          1. Martin in Cardiff
            August 14, 2019

            My understanding is that it is in places such as DRC, but figures are hard to get from trouble zones.

            I read also that South Africa and a few other places top Venezuela.

      2. Iain Gill
        August 13, 2019

        In the past I have taken on local teenage thugs in the location I was living at the time, I intervened because they were throwing bricks at a neighbour’s house, and threatening him and his kids.
        The teenage thugs were taken home by the police, not to the station as any ordinary person would expect. My car was stolen the same night as obvious retribution. The teenage thugs threatened to kill me.
        The police were afraid to take them on, as the local inspector said “their parents are the local big time criminals, we simply don’t have the resources to deal with the consequences of arresting any of them, unless they actually murder someone we will not be arresting them”
        People like me learn from this, that there is no support whatsoever for a genuine decent person prepared to stand up to such thugs. I was able to move away from that area, many people would not have been able to do the same.
        Its often not that people are afraid to intervene, rather its “whats the point”, you only stand to lose, and the police & system will offer no help whatsoever if there are any consequences.

    5. Simeon
      August 13, 2019

      Good morning,

      I’m sure the problem of crime and punishment is very easily solved. There will be a review. It’s recommendations will emerge at some later date. The government will then pick and choose which measures to implement, being careful to take account of cost and whatever the Guardian’s view might be. In the meantime, the government gives the impression of doing something, boosting it’s poll ratings. An elegant solution.

      1. Caterpillar
        August 13, 2019


        Agree with your first sentence.

        Any politician who says “We cannot arrest ourselves out of this problem” should be made to explain (i) why not and (ii) what would be need so that we can arrest ourselves out of the problem.

        1. Simeon
          August 13, 2019


          I don’t think I understood exactly what you were saying. But what I would say is that for genuine crimes there needs to be genuine punishment. Clearly, the present situation is riddled with absurdities. Most crime is treated far too lightly, and some activities are criminalised when there is no moral or philosophical justification. The police force is in urgent need of reform, and might benefit from more funding – if these reforms did not yield sufficient savings. But more fundamentally, criminal law needs a radical overhaul, if not tearing it down and beginning again from sound first principles.

          1. Caterpillar
            August 14, 2019


      2. Mark B
        August 13, 2019

        Chillingly accurate.

      3. Lifelogic
        August 13, 2019

        Indeed such is the nature politicians and politics you have to gain power to do much, but then if Boris can in this way keep Corbyn/Mc Donnall/SNP away from power and a UK Venezuela then I am rather favour of it.

    6. Simeon
      August 13, 2019

      By the way, is the matter of drugs truly ‘other’ in this context? On the subject of crime, a failure to address the illegality of drugs is a failure to properly engage with the subject. Certainly, until someone understands that prohibiting drugs has been as successful as prohibiting alcohol was in the US, it’s impossible to take seriously what they might have to say about crime.

    7. James Bertram
      August 13, 2019

      Yes, I get the impression that the core problem is drugs and drug policy. More widely it could be seen as the Americanisation and liberalisation of society – spread more widely by the internet.
      Edmund Burke – The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
      It is a problem of society, not just a problem for the government and police to resolve, and it probably comes down to good parenting and good schools as much as anything.

      Now that all sounds incredibly wet.

      [As an aside, I put a long post at the end of ‘Don’t let them eat meat’ for Martin King. I’d appreciate it, when you have time, to release it from moderation – I wouldn’t want him to think I couldn’t be bothered to reply. Thanks.]

    8. Hope
      August 13, 2019

      Most repeat offenders are linked to drugs in some form. Start to give harsh punishments for possession to stop the market and demand. No drugs should be entering jails?

      Dysfunctional families/family life has created a situation where some criminals treat their gangs as family and prison is a better way of life than outside! Your govt has tried to get rid of family, marriage and Christian religion as a broad framework to underpin society and are now living with the consequences.

      Gender specific wardens for prisoners (GOQ applies). We should not be reading wardens having affairs with prisoners!

      Hard bird does act as a deterrent. Youth offenders holiday camp do not work. Liberalisation of criminal justice system since the sixties has not worked, under people like Gauke who wants to treat offenders as victims!

      3 strikes to jail, as Mark states is a good plan. Prisoners should not want to go back. Too much time and money spent on people who will not change. Too many chances given to foreigners. Deportation must happen.

      There too many prison places, court time and expense taken up with nonsensical non payment BBC licence fee type crimes. They present no harm or threat to the public.

      Tommy Robinson sentencing absolutely ridiculous. Sentence appears politically motivated. How much of our money used to vindictively prosecute Darren Grimes! The Election Commission acts on what Gordon Brown said! Time for change to save our taxes and put it where it could help society.

      Drink and drug drivers, unless death or injury caused, could be given alternative punitive sentences. Hikes in Insurance etc is an addition to sentence that is never counted.

      Consider Reversing everything Mayhab introduced as Home Secretary would be a good start.

      1. Ed M
        August 13, 2019

        ‘Your govt has tried to get rid of family, marriage and Christian religion’

        – Let’s make up case study (but profoundly based on reality) of working class John Smith living a life of A) Internal Chaos 2) Living happy, fulfilled traditional Christian life.

        Scenario A) (Internal Chaos):

        – He could end up in prison costing tax-payer 50K pounds per year
        – He could end up fat and unhealthy because of feeling empty and depressed – could lead to serious disease costing tax-payer another 50K per year
        – If he ends up in prison, it could be because he knifed someone or stole lots of money or whatever from someone
        – He ends up on drugs, drinking too much, smoking too much, beating up his wife, being horrible to neighbours etc ..
        – He ends up less productive because he’s depressed / unhealthy etc ..

        Now compare to if he led healthy traditional Christian life (yes, Christians can be self-righteous but this isn’t true Christianity, but just selfishness in the guise of religion)

        – Instead of ending up in prison, he ends up working hard, falling in love and being able to provide for his family without depending on the state
        – He goes to the gym, exercises regularly, and leads the most healthy life he can
        – Instead of knifing people, he ends up helping neighbours, joining the territorial army, basically sense of public duty
        – Instead of ending up on drugs, he helps people come out of drugs. He spends his money on positive things that contribute to the economy in a positive way
        – He ends up more productive, because he’s happy in himself, with his family, has a sense of public duty and healthy patriotism etc ..

        The difference is profound – not just to the man’s personal well-being, but also to his country in general, including saving the tax payer lots and lots and lots of money

        1. R.T.G.
          August 15, 2019

          @Ed M

          There is much in what you say.

          1. Ed M
            August 16, 2019


            I’ve discussed the practical benefits of Traditional Christianity to one’s country. But there is also the more fun / inspiring side as well to building up one’s country (patriotism – a virtue according to traditional Christianity) – such as building a country with great arts and architecture (such as we saw, to a degree, in England and Europe in general during the Middle Ages and Renaissance and later with Sir Christopher Wren etc .. as well as great creative people in general such as Mozart, Shakespeare, Bach, da Vinci and so on who all emerged from Christian Europe. I’ll stop there, but patriotism, to me is like creating a beautiful Faberge Egg! We all have our part to do (and NOT coerced into it like socialism or NOT depending on the state like in socialism but on one’s family), according to our abilities. And what pleasure / JOY involved in creating that (as well as hardship, too, but no-one can escape that whoever they are, whatever they believe in or don’t believe in)!

            (Besides the joy and satisfaction in trying to build up strong families with a Mum + Dad, and so on).

            God bless HM The Queen – God bless England!

        2. Ed M
          August 16, 2019

          I forgot to add, there are lots and lots and lots of cases of Christianity taking people in their worst conditions – terrible, at their lowest and worst – and turning them around dramatically. This happens all the time. It’s just a case of people believing this is possible and then getting on with it.

          And Traditional Christianity is NOT for wimps. Some of the best soldiers who have ever lived were / are devout Christians. Who believe in Just War (and unjust wars ALWAYS come back to bite a country in the long run). And devout Christian women who often worked / work as nurses, working in the blood and horror of war.

          Traditional Christianity supports the development of real, manly men who take responsibility for themselves, their family and country. Just as traditional Christianity supports the development of real, feminine women who nurture their family and help to bring up children who will fit in with others around them outside the family.

          May we develop real men and women in our country, with a serious sense of responsibility towards others and also with a good sense of British humour!

    9. Caterpillar
      August 13, 2019

      Mark B,

      I am not sure what you mean by serious here (based on the serious offence list), however if you intend to mean murder/manslaughter/violence/rape, I think three strikes is too many. Perhaps the Conservatives’ / Gauke’s previous catch and release policy could be adapted to 3 strikes for less serious offences – a deferred life sentence for a less serious crime.

      1. Mark B
        August 13, 2019

        As murder carries a heavy sentence already I excluded that from my thoughts. I agree with you concerning rape. It is a ‘most serious’ crime and deserves heavy punishment. My main thoughts were on burgery and assault.

        1. Caterpillar
          August 13, 2019


        2. Cheshire Girl
          August 14, 2019


          I agree that murder carries a heavy sentence, but many of them don’t serve the full sentence.

          Frankly, I disagree with ‘cant be named for legal reasons’. Often this is because they are under the age of 18.
          Excuses are made that they are ‘disadvantaged ‘ etc. I say that if you are old enough to commit a serious crime, you should be named. why should you be able to remain anonymous!

    10. Tad Davison
      August 13, 2019

      When we need men of steel to stop criminals in their tracks. It is no good expecting woolly liberals to come up with solutions – they have singularly failed. Now it is time to make the criminals responsible for their own actions, and so scared of the consequences, they dare not break the law. And if that means taking away their human rights, and depriving the legal profession of their gravy train, then so be it.

      We have to see this cancer for what it is and surgically remove it. Let’s see how many criminals strut around like untouchable hard-cases after that! They cannot continue to commit crimes if they are not at liberty to do so, and should not be allowed back into society until such time as they no longer pose a menace or a threat.

      Successive governments are to blame, but the last pathetic excuse for a law and order policy should stand as a monument to the infestation of do-gooders who took over the Tory party some time ago. Let’s hope this time, Boris can finally deliver where others have let the public down so badly. The public are crying out for a firm hand, and anyone who delivers will win their acclaim.

      I absolutely detest criminal scum along with the people who constantly pander to them by diluting any form of meaningful deterrents!

      1. Ed M
        August 14, 2019


        ‘When we need men of steel to stop criminals in their tracks. It is no good expecting woolly liberals to come up with solutions – they have singularly failed’

        – We need both (‘men of steel’ and ‘wooly liberals’).

        In fact, both represent the two facets of love – tough love and soft love. We need both. Families need both (a strong, disciplined Dad and an affectionate, nurturing Mum). Society needs both. Even businesses need both (lead to work ethic). People need both to keep them out of prison and to get them out of prison. Our country should just be an extension of the family. This is patriotism.

        It’s precisely the amount of soft and tough love we’ve received in life (in particular as children) and how they have been balanced by each other that profoundly determines how we turn out in life. Of course, if we lacked one or both as children, we can always make up for it, by thinking about these things and trying and make up for them.

        1. Tad Davison
          August 14, 2019

          Where criminals are concerned, love and understanding fails. It is already too late. They only understand harsh discipline – something they don’t get in prison or via the weakling probation service.

          I am the father of three responsible adult children who have never been a problem to anyone. They have been loved and nurtured and all work hard. They have never even claimed benefits because they have been brought up with a good work ethic. They resent the fact that criminals have it way too easy, and so do I.

          These people have got to know their criminal activities will no longer be tolerated, but that message won’t get through when it is delivered by the soft weaklings you suggest. You’re way off beam. Put me in charge of the criminal justice system, I’ll solve it, but then I know what filthy trash criminals really are.

    11. Peter
      August 13, 2019

      How does the USA fund its prisons?

      They seem to be able to jail criminals for far longer than we do, which is pleasing for a good many law abiding citizens. They even manage to execute a fair number in certain states – albeit after an unnecessarily long process in some cases.

      The three strike rule has been mentioned here already.

      Maybe we should look to America for clues in handling recidivist criminals.

      The American Police now have cameras recording them. So we can see what happens when a fatal shooting takes place. Contrary to previous claims, the police are usually fully in the right when such incidents occur. See various Police Activity videos on You Tube for proof.

  2. Mick
    August 13, 2019

    The only crime is fraud by mps going against what they were voted in for by 80% if voters on manifesto pledges in 2017
    If we don’t Brexit then the mps should know that if we Don’t leave with no strings on October 31st 2019 then they had better be ready for the consequences that will follow, I’m not a clairvoyant but the demonstrations in Hong Kong will seam like a walk in the park

    1. Shirley
      August 13, 2019

      The people in Hong Kong certainly think democracy is something worth fighting for. I think the majority of UK citizens will think the same. Sidelining democracy, as has happened in the UK since 1973, is bad enough, but for Parliament to deliberately try and overturn the biggest electoral mandate in UK history gives a whole new frightening message.

      1. Martin in Cardiff
        August 13, 2019

        It is not the biggest mandate in history.

        Turnouts and margins were proportionally higher in post war general elections.

        In absolute numbers, some have been larger now because the population has grown, but no more.

      2. steve
        August 13, 2019


        “Sidelining democracy, as has happened in the UK since 1973”

        Actually the rot took hold in 1997.

    2. Ian Wragg
      August 13, 2019

      I don’t think some MPs understand the level of anger due to them trashing democracy.
      The people will have their say.

      1. Martin in Cardiff
        August 13, 2019

        The people?

        The results were twenty-six percent voted Leave, twenty-four percent voted Remain, and fifty percent either did not or could not vote, children, say.

        There is no single representative “will”, and it is Parliament’s moral duty to consider ALL of those people, not just that first group.

        1. Edward2
          August 13, 2019

          In the biggest vote in our history over one million more people voted to leave the EU compared to those that voted to remain in the EU.
          After a huge Project Fear campaign in the media and against the recommendations of the Government.
          Percentages are a false way of looking at it.

          1. Martin in Cardiff
            August 14, 2019

            Seventy-four percent of the people of this land did not vote Leave.

            Nearly fifty million people.

            On what moral basis can our sovereign Parliament ignore their interests and opinions?

            Reply 76% did not vote to remain

        2. steve
          August 13, 2019

          “it is Parliament’s moral duty to consider ALL of those people, not just that first group.”


          In any democratic ballot…..majority rule applies.

          “The results were twenty-six percent voted Leave, twenty-four percent voted Remain”

          More rubbish. Those were not the results and you know it.

          1. Martin in Cardiff
            August 14, 2019

            You are wrong. Have you never heard of proportional representation?

            And who are you to rewrite the constitution of this country, which says that Parliament alone is the law, and that it cannot be bound by its predecessor?

            The referendum was only advisory, and Parliament can change its mind on anything,

            Reply Parliament is very bound by EU Treaties. The referendum was not advisory. Parliament pledged to implement the decision and should keep its word

          2. steve
            August 14, 2019


            “On what moral basis can our sovereign Parliament ignore their interests and opinions?”

            On the basis that they either didn’t vote, or their choice of vote put them in the minority.

            They lost, they have no say. It’s called majority rule.

  3. Anonymous
    August 13, 2019

    The BBC reporter went berserk last night. It is the only way to describe it. “YOU ARE LESS LIKELY TO GET STABBED THAN YOU WERE IN THE NINETIES !”

    Well whoop de doo.

    He failed to mention how much we’ve modified our behaviour around various types and that most kids now stay indoors, to an extent that it’s viewed as a health problem now.

    1. Anonymous
      August 13, 2019

      “We notice that you don’t challenge yobs here.” From various foreign visitors I’ve met.

      1. kzb
        August 13, 2019

        Correct. This is because we get no back up from the police when the yobs we have challenged target our property. However the yobs will get no end of backup from the police against you, should you even touch them. They know this. These young people grow up knowing they have all the power and you have none. They can do what they want.

        1. Caterpillar
          August 13, 2019


        2. Fred H
          August 13, 2019

          just like kids taunting teachers in the classroom with ‘ you can’t touch me’. Maybe not, but the Head must be able to expel the kids.

    2. jerry
      August 13, 2019

      @Anonymous: Indeed, but we were also less likely to be stabbed in the 1970s than we were in the 1990s. You to also failed to mention how back in the 1990s we all had to modified our behaviour around various types and that many parents started to make their kids stay indoors or at leasts in the back yard – your point was what?

      1. Anonymous
        August 13, 2019

        Get the Beeboid to explain his point first !

        1. Anonymous
          August 14, 2019

          It is not the job of a BBC journalist to get emotional in his report.

      2. Fred H
        August 13, 2019

        we didn’t have the steel to make knives in the 70s….. ( a bit tongue in cheek).

    3. steve
      August 14, 2019


      “Have you never heard of proportional representation?”

      Relevance ?

      “Parliament alone is the law”


      “The referendum was only advisory”

      No such thing as an advisory referendum.

      Next you’ll be telling us General Elections are only advisory when you don’t like the result.

  4. Denis Cooper
    August 13, 2019

    Off topic, googling for [johnson varadkar dublin] I find this, published just minutes ago, among other earlier references:


    “Pressure to ensure Varadkar-Johnson talks in Dublin”

    “Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is under pressure to ensure his Brexit meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson takes place in Dublin and not London amid rising tensions over the talks.

    Government sources confirmed Dublin remains their preferred location as Mr Johnson last night finally accepted Mr Varadkar’s fortnight-old invitation to meet — but declined to rule out a London location.

    In a statement last evening, Downing Street said Mr Johnson has agreed to meet with Mr Varadkar in order to discuss Brexit and bilateral issues including the ongoing Stormont stalemate in Northern Ireland.

    However, the spokesperson said while officials in both Dublin and London are finalising meeting plans, no date or location has been agreed.”

    I have made my suggestion of something like neutral territory, the Isle of Man:


    “Off topic, Douglas on the Isle of Man could be a very good place for Boris Johnson and Leo Varadkar to have their projected meeting …”

    We cannot have our new UK Prime Minister kow-towing to the Irish Prime Minister in the same way as our last UK Prime Minister did, that would be utterly intolerable.

    1. Denis Cooper
      August 13, 2019

      I have just sent this letter to the Irish Examiner:

      “Dear Sir

      Over twenty months ago now, on December 5 2017, you were kind enough to publish my letter relating to a statement made by Minister of State for European Affairs Helen McEntee.

      (“UK pointless to negotiate trade deal with Europe”)

      In that letter I wrote:

      “Having seen that Sky interview I formed the view that it would be quite pointless for the UK to even try to negotiate any “deep and special” trade relationship with the EU when one of its continuing member states is adopting such an absurd, extreme and intransigent position and has been foolishly awarded an effective veto on any agreement.

      Far better to say now that the UK intends to trade on WTO terms, which would hurt the UK to a small extent and certain EU countries such as Ireland to a somewhat greater extent, but would at least remove much of the uncertainty which is a troubling business.”

      Now this morning I read in the Examiner breaking news that the Republic is insisting that our Prime Minister must travel to Dublin for an audience with your Prime Minister, having already ruled out any discussion of the Brexit issues of greatest interest to the UK government.

      To keep it as polite and dispassionate as I can, I will simply say that the sheer arrogance of this attitude beggars belief.

      However I believe there could be a good compromise, at least on the venue, and that is for both to travel to that beautiful island set in the Irish Sea, a part of neither the UK nor the Republic, and outside the EU, something like neutral territory and moreover a source of excellent kippers, the Isle of Man.

      Yours etc.”

      The previous letter may be found here:


      1. Sir Joe Soap
        August 13, 2019

        I’d say meet In Londonderry. It’s a compromise between London and Derry!

      2. acorn
        August 13, 2019

        Denis; realise that the Spiv City of London’s tethered MPs in the HoC; principally the ERG, could not give a toss about the Irish border.

        They desperately need to get the UK out of the EU by December 31st 2019. Because on the 1st January 2020, the UK has signed up to fully enforce Council Directive (EU) 2016/1164, also known as the EU Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive (ATAD).

        If the UK is still in the EU on that date; London’s place as the global number one money laundering and tax avoiding capital of the planet, will be severely cramped. (London includes UK overseas tax havens.)

        It will much easier for EU tax authorities including our own HMRC, to track possibly criminal money flows through the Spiv City London; and, the individuals who benefited from such money flows directly or indirectly.

        1. Denis Cooper
          August 13, 2019

          More fantasy dressed up as inside information.

    2. Know-Dice
      August 13, 2019

      Denis, Dublin is certainly a no no.

      Isle of Man suggests a meeting of equals, whereas Mr Varadkar has very little say on changing EU policy – less than 1/27 not taking QMV in to account.

      Really the only place is London…

      1. Denis Cooper
        August 13, 2019

        Douglas would certainly be a generous gesture on our part, but there would be no harm in showing that kind of generous face to the world. Dublin would of course show a cringing supplicant face, and we cannot have that with our new Prime Minister as we had with the last Prime Minister.

      2. Sir Joe Soap
        August 13, 2019

        No, Londonderry. Spelled like that. It makes a point.

      3. Fred H
        August 13, 2019

        or not meet at all, after all the EU doesn’t want to talk.

    3. zorro
      August 13, 2019

      Even better they can securely phone or Skype with each other. It will save BJ some time from listening to the same turgid old bilge from Varadkar.

      As you say there is no necessity for BJ to travel on a waste of time. They have had their chance to cooperate and blown it with their alliance with the EU. The Irish will be responsible for what happens to them. It is entirely within their control. My advice to BJ – don’t waste time with time wasters, it is beneath the dignity of the office.


    4. Fred H
      August 13, 2019

      or on that aircraft carrier? Is it fixed? Could we park it, moor it, whatever in the Irish sea, or are the waters too rough.

    5. Martinz
      August 13, 2019

      They should meet in Belfast since they are mainly going to talk about the setting up of the NI assembly. There’s no chance that Varadkar can discuss the WA with Boris as it’s EU Brussels business.

      1. Denis Cooper
        August 13, 2019

        That’s not what the Irish Examiner article says.

    6. steve
      August 13, 2019

      Dennis Cooper

      “……. Varadkar is under pressure to ensure his Brexit meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson takes place in Dublin and not London amid rising tensions over the talks.”

      Well Varadkar wants Dublin so a mob can be organised, and when that does happen I think Boris should just turn around and return home immediately without negotiating a damn thing. They need to learn if they don’t behave in a civilised way and show respect to our PM, then they’ll end up with nothing.

  5. Anonymous
    August 13, 2019

    “paving the way for new criminal offences that will help to stop knives and dangerous acids making their way into criminal use.”

    Here we go.

    We’re going to end up with drain cleaner as useless as modern outdoor paint. ID cards to buy potato peelers.

    Exactly the same treatment of the whole population as the sugar tax.

    Punish everyone.

    ANYTHING but target the people doing it.

    1. Lifelogic
      August 13, 2019

      Indeed certainly right on useless modern outdoor paint.

    2. Everhopeful
      August 13, 2019

      And this idea that everyone is guilty deters people from reporting crime.
      As in “ If we take this any further…they’ll KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE.” ( a phone call after I reported a crime).
      Yes …really!!
      The police need to sort out who are the actual criminals ( as you say).
      Anyway…when will the govt. understand that only criminals can get hold of all things illegal…weapons etc…that’s the whole point.
      Sugar tax… I understand..is just a virtue signalling response to rising sugar prices. And a nice wheeze to boost profits no doubt. If they cared about the obesity epidemic caused by successive govts they’d stop making choc etc Make our lives even more miserable.

    3. zorro
      August 13, 2019

      Oh my, that would be far too difficult. Look at the poor old judge reprimanded for suggesting that a nasty career criminal lose some weight, find a job and earn an honest living. He was reprimanded. That is what the liberal establishment has brought to this country, disrespectful criminals, snowflakes, and a training ground to deconstruct society in line with Frankfurt School ideology…..


      1. Fred H
        August 13, 2019

        we need more of an Aussie response to things..ie if you don’t like it, f off!

    4. jerry
      August 13, 2019

      @Anonymous;“ID cards to buy potato peelers.”

      Or indeed those safety cardboard carton box cutters, after all what could possibly be harmful about them?…

      1. Anonymous
        August 13, 2019

        Bang the people up who misuse things and leave the rest of us alone !

        A real vote winner

        1. jerry
          August 13, 2019

          @Anonymous; So you believe in only shutting the stable door well after the horse has bolted – when talking about violent crime I’m not so sure it would would be a “real vote winner”.

          1. Anonymous
            August 14, 2019

            If the Tories want to win the next election they need to talk hard on crime.

            (It’s proving popular already !!!)

            If they want to win the election after that they need to GET hard on crime.

            Let’s decide via the ballot box and soon. Because, while I’m arguing with you, this cancer is being spread by ‘county lines’ and we’re not curing it.

  6. J Bush
    August 13, 2019

    Why should the law-abiding have to pay for the prison cost of foreign criminals, they must be deported back to their own country. Or if they have arrived from France, send them back there. If they have no papers, there are linguists who can tell by their language accent where they originate from.

    Those with dual nationality (stupid concept) lose their British national status are also deported.

    Their entire family should also be deported with them. Make the crime deterrent message strong to get it across to those who are used to seeing the UK as a ‘soft touch’.

    If, their nationality cannot be established, build a prison somewhere really remote and house them all in there.

    No more Legal Aid to foreigners.

    1. Cheshire Girl
      August 13, 2019

      J Bush:

      But that would be against their ‘Human Rights’. Their Human Rights, are far more important than the right of the law abiding public to live in peace and security.

      I am disgusted with the weak Politicians who have allowed this to go on for so long. It is virtually irreversible now, but they wont admit it. They have allowed the criminals to have the upper hand.

    2. Everhopeful
      August 13, 2019

      J Bush
      The law in this country is only for the rich and the selected few.
      It doesn’t protect the average citizen anyway.
      And all the data protection stuff can prove a very effective protection for criminals.
      The more inept govts meddle the worse things become.

    3. What Tiler
      August 13, 2019

      “If, their nationality cannot be established, build a prison somewhere really remote and house them all in there.”

      We tried that once before, these days they beat us at cricket.

      1. sm
        August 13, 2019

        Thus proving that ‘tough love’ works?

    4. zorro
      August 13, 2019

      We are the ultimate soft touch in everything. Look at our cities and streets. I seriously thought that Mark Easton was going to have a heart attack on the news last night. He has been wittering on about knife crime escalating and police numbers falling, and soon as hears that the government is looking at tackling it, he says that the streets are safer than the 90s!! The main reason is that most of the kids/youths aren’t on street corners but on their phones/computers. I seriously thought that he was going to have a liberal lefty induced seizure!


    5. rose
      August 13, 2019

      “Clearly strong policing of our borders to keep out international criminals would be welcome.” – Certainly, but we need a bit more than this. We need to be a lot more fussy about whom we admit. Billions of people want to come and live here and we can afford to be fussy. Part of this would be a really strict policy on people who abuse our hospitality, whether it be by illegal immigration or legal immigrants committing crimes once here. With so many decent, law abiding people wanting to come, we really don’t need to keep any criminals. I agree that their dependents should go with them, according to the human right to a family life.

    6. bigneil
      August 13, 2019

      JB – Absolutely 100% spot on – -agree with every word.

    7. Dan R
      August 13, 2019

      Agreed Jim, and where’s the journalist to give us the exposure of the amount of foreign criminals we house in prisons and the police time spent on chasing after them.

  7. Shirley
    August 13, 2019

    I’d like to see a full review of the judiciary. There appears to be a political desire to see Brexiters and Brexit related organisations investigated and punished for non-crimes, and sentences for putting bacon on a Mosque handle are more punishing than far more serious crimes.
    Legal challenges that relate to Remain are pushed through at high speed while legal challenges from Leave are delayed and delayed. There have been no investigations why a deliberate blind eye was turned to the grooming/rape gangs, and this went on for decades while whistleblowers were being punished for their honesty.
    The police and the judiciary have lost the trust of the electorate, deservedly so.

    1. Dan R
      August 13, 2019

      Amen to you Shirley.

    2. steve
      August 13, 2019


      “There have been no investigations why a deliberate blind eye was turned to the grooming/rape gangs”

      If you’re referring to the Rochdale cases, it’s the same reason nothing was done about it in the first place…..the sissy cowardly authorities were frightened by the prospect of the perpetrators playing the race card.

      And that is a fact……..confirmed by a minority of officials who were brave enough to blow the whistle.

  8. Leaver
    August 13, 2019

    I absolutely agree that criminals need to be afraid of arrest.

    But this needs to be balanced with the fact this can lead to young people being placed with groups of hardened convicts, who are not a good influence.

    To ignore the ‘school for crime’ argument is naïve. Otherwise we risk the U.S situation where you spend ridiculous amounts on imprisoning your own population – and nobody wants that.

    Not a simple problem. But despite many claims made on this site, most political issues aren’t simple – or else they would have been solved by now. Indeed, if I hear of someone selling ‘magic bullets’, my instinct is generally to quickly walk in the opposite direction.

  9. Kenneth
    August 13, 2019

    The state needs to withdraw from micro-managing individuals and allow families to do this instead.

    We have undermined the patriarchal family which was previously self-policing.

    The more responsibility the state takes on, the less we take on ourselves, leading to a viscous circle where social services and police resources keep rising.

    It used to be a matter of shame to have a wayward son who has fallen foul of the law. Policing should largely be in our families, in our communities and in our heads.

    By attempting to be father and mother and sibling to everyone, the state is in danger of having an adult population that will never grow up.

    Specifically, many youngsters are not suited to school. Many of them would benefit from doing some paid work from the age of 14. In that way they would be valued and have some self-worth.

  10. Lifelogic
    August 13, 2019

    Not leaving people with severe mental health problems (when they are know to be violent) living in the community until they finally stab or kill someone would help. Police and social services, in my direct experience, do almost nothing about such violence. They generally just say it is a mental heath issue (and so not our problem) and he/she was not taking his medication so that’s OK now until next time.

    Reoffending rates upon release from prison can be as high as 30% for some groups and that is only the small percentage the actually catch so perhaps 20 times more than this in terms for numbers of crimes done by people released from prison.

    The police actually announcing they will do nothing over most shoplifting hardly helps deter such crime!

    1. Lifelogic
      August 13, 2019

      Detection rates are only about 10% so the actual percentage reoffending is probably more likely to be 80%+ than the 30% figure (this is only those actually caught) and most of these likely to be commiting several offences even in the first year following their release.

  11. sm
    August 13, 2019

    I saw a report this morning stating that despite legislation in 2013 to deport Albanian criminals, only 24 have actually gone, leaving nearly 900 still in UK prisons.

    So, why haven’t the rest been deported, leaving this prison space for home-grown gangsters?

  12. Edward2
    August 13, 2019

    The granting of bail should be a privilege.
    Far too many further offences are being committed by criminals who have been granted bail.
    Far too many Police are having to waste their time chasing after criminals have failed to appear at Court, or have absconded, sometimes overseas, having been given bail.
    Change the Bail Act so that anyone who disrespects the privilege of bail never gets bail ever again.

  13. Iain Gill
    August 13, 2019

    Timpsons the cobblers hire a lot of ex prisoners.

    They do a lot of hard work on rehabilitation.

    They have a lot of strong views on how to improve the system, and the senior management have tweeted open offer to the government to help them improve their policies.

    Frankly the government should beat a path to their door.

    1. Dennis
      August 13, 2019

      It seems JR did not post some weeks ago my idea to have offenders to not only pay double to compensate victims materially but to acquire skills and walk out of prison with at least £1000 from their own paid work which could mean the more you work to pay off the debts the sooner you get out. Not an overnight solution but….

      1. Iain Gill
        August 14, 2019

        given the very high success rate Timpsons have reforming prisoners, real world and not hypothetical, you would have thought politicians would be listening to them.

  14. Tom Weston
    August 13, 2019

    We should use some of our £39 billion and/or the £21 billion we won’t be sending to Brussels each year to build 10 fast, armed offshore cutters to use to protect our fishing grounds; built in British shipyards and using British steel. In the interim BoJo should ask our friend Mr Trump to lease us some so that our EU ‘friends’ don’t continue to steal our fish.

    1. The Prangwizard
      August 13, 2019

      I have urged many times the building of armed patrol craft. We should not go begging to the US or anywhere else for cover in the interim. We must not take the soft option. It doesn’t take long to build such craft, or it shouldn’t. We must build our own and with it our national pride.

      1. Mitchel
        August 14, 2019

        The Iranians find them very effective!

  15. Richard1
    August 13, 2019

    A major toughening up on crime should be a good vote winner. Violent crime needs to equal prison. So let’s stop sending people who haven’t paid their BBC license fee (that should be De- criminalised, another vote winner) and make sure we stop the absurdity of repeat offenders laughing as they are let off for the umpteenth time. London under the useless and pompous little popinjay Khan is suffering a crime wave. Knife crime is rife, residents of Hampstead are reportedly under siege from terrifying home invasions. An aggressive proactive response is needed by police with swingeing sentences for offenders.

    Perhaps post brexit we can also bring about David Camerons pledge to make sure that if someone is committing a serious crime they leave their human rights at the door.

    Foreigners who commit serious crimes (Inc any crime of violence) should of course be deported on completing their sentences. Immigration rules should keep out anyone who has a conviction for a serious crime (Inc any crime of violence).

  16. Iain Gill
    August 13, 2019

    Given that a very high percentage of prisoners were in children’s homes run by councils, there is an obvious case to radically improve the care system.

    If your parents die and you end up in care you really are stuffed in this country.

    There is no excuse for looking after children in care so badly.

    1. Cheshire Girl
      August 13, 2019

      I agree, but some children end up in care because of inadequate parenting. Such a tragedy.

      Being a parent is not a right, and requires careful thought.

  17. Nig l
    August 13, 2019

    Many of these recent murders/stabbings etc would seem to be linked to turf wars over drugs, we read of the ………mafia,

    Equally much low level crime is linked to the need to obtain money to buy drugs.

    It would therefore seem logical that your approach to drugs is failing and you need a new one. Unfortunately no on one is brave enough politically.

    Cocaine seems to be freely available yet ignored at the personal level. Let’s have a blitz on individual users and prosecute. A criminal conviction would make life very difficult for many reasons not the least for people who travel to the US regularly. Instead if targeting the ‘Mr Bigs’ reduce demand at street level.

    As usual you go for the working class and different communities with stop and search for knives but ignore the elite on drugs.

  18. Dave Andrews
    August 13, 2019

    The justice system only has fines and imprisonment at its disposal for punishment. Fines are useless for people who have no money, and sending them to Crime University just affords them the opportunity to learn how to become more successful criminals.
    It’s not PC to say this, but can we not re-introduce corporal punishment for certain crimes? It gets the punishment over, and the offender can return to their lives earning a living. No one pays for their crimes in prison, rather they are a burden on the taxpayer.
    I suggest we also have a maximum limit on prison places, any more than that and there is a cull. Well, we do it to badgers and seals, and being dumb animals they haven’t the mind to commit crime.

    1. Fedupsoutherner
      August 13, 2019

      Dave I agree. A lot of people won’t like it but I am sick of having to keep scum in prisons. By scum I mean big time drug dealers, murderers, child killers, child rapists and any other kind of rapist. Get rid and they will no longer be a problem.

  19. APL
    August 13, 2019

    JR: “The new prison places will come from building new modern, efficient prisons ”

    Question: What proportion of the British Prison population originates from overseas?

    According to Home office figures ( 2018 ) it costs about £35,000 per annum to incarcerate a prisoner in one or other of MHP.

    Question: Is that correct.

    Given an answer to question (1), and assuming question (2) is roughly correct, we should be able to determine how much it is costing British tax payers to accommodate foreign criminals.

    We could then ask ourselves, wouldn’t these people be better served being incarcerated in their own countries, and wouldn’t the British tax payer be saved a considerable sum and avoid an unnecessary ‘investment’ ( quotes deliberate ) in unnecessary prison building?

    1. The Prangwizard
      August 13, 2019

      We need an answer to the question. How many are foreign and I would add how many are here illegally? Why are there any illegals still here? Why have they not been deported, who in the legal system is protecting them?

      1. APL
        August 13, 2019

        The Prangwizard: “We need an answer to the question. ”

        Mr Redwood, a ‘Representative of the People’ has declined to publish my second post which included a briefing paper from our own Parliament.

        The Prangwizard: “who in the legal system is protecting them?”

        Our Members of Parliament. They certainly don’t give a damn about the rest of us.

        From the same paper. Which is apparently not fit to be reproduced nor linked to from Redwood’s blog.

        The average direct cost per prisoner in was £24,151 but taking into account all resource expenditure the overall cost per prisoner was £37,543.28

        The average direct cost per prison place in was £26,274 but taking into account all resource expenditure the overall cost per place was £40,843

        According to the paper, which Redwood doesn’t think fit to print, there are in total of 9079 foreign nationals in British Prisons costing the British tax payer between £24,000 and £40,000 each per year.

        Say it’s £35,000. Last year the British tax payer forked out £317.7 million.

        Surely, that’s enough to buy a pork pie and a beer in the House of Commons restaurant?

        1. APL
          August 13, 2019

          I eat my hat, Redwood has posted my second comment and link further down.

  20. agricola
    August 13, 2019

    I agree that a review is needed. We need to catch, deter, and where possible rehabilitate. Take minor criminal offences really seriously to deter an escalation into major criminal activity.

    Guns and knives are not a problem, it is human activity with them that is. A gun on a grouse moor should arouse no more excitement than a waterproof coat. On a 39 bus it is a very different matter. I have knives in my kitchen as do most people who cook that in the wrong place with the wrong intent could cause mayhem. Neither should be legislated into none existence. It is the misuser that has to be dealt with. Misuse or intended misuse is what has to be penalised to the point just beyond deterence. I would point out that gun law has only hampered the legitimate user, criminals have no problem in obtaining any form of firearm they want. Law, the usual recourse of a Parliament full of lawyers has failed abysmally.

    A very high proportion of UK criminals are foreign or of foreign originality. Where possible deport them to prisons in their countries origen. This should act as a deterrent and a cost reduction to our prison service. Illegals and legals with no other support than crime should go immediately. Although the media is slow to draw attention to it, when it does slip out they are rarely identified as Fred Smith.

    Civil and human responsibility lessons would not go amiss at school, replacing the sexual diversity lessons that must puzzle six year olds. It may be boring to some but I was taught to and handled guns twice a week from the age of twelve. We were taught how to use knives at the table from an even earlier age. Somehow it made us safe in shooting grouse and acceptable at almost any table.

  21. Brian Norminton
    August 13, 2019

    Repeat offenders have chosen a life of crime and should therefore be locked up for a long time.
    A ‘three strikes’ rule should therefore be brought in. After 3 criminal convictions of any kid, then a minimum 10 years should be served.
    The criminal justice system should be focussed around deterrence.

  22. Bryan Harris
    August 13, 2019

    No point in building ever more prisons without attacking the root cause of crime, and that is a lack of morals.
    How can we breed less criminals? – that is the question.
    How can we import less criminals? – that’s another one to ponder.
    We can empower the individual to be more responsible – by removing the regulations introduced initially by blair to punish and confuse those that tried to help – People should be able to use their common sense to censor those stepping over the line, without fear of the law stepping in.
    I’ve read very good reports of how an organisation helps to reform criminals in prison, in America – We should adopt that technology if we really are serious about decriminalising individuals, but all too often the government is blind to new ideas that actually work due to some inbred prejudice that the State knows best. Check out CRIMINON

  23. APL
    August 13, 2019


    Page 11. Bottom half of page.

    Prison population by religion. Spot the odd man out.

    Christian 61% of the general population – 48% of the prison population.
    Islamic 4% of the general population – 16% of the prison population.
    Hindu 2% of the general population – 0% of the prison population.
    Sikh 1% of the general population – 1% of the prison population.
    Buddhist 2% of the general population – 2% of the prison population.
    Jewish 1% of the general population – 1% of the prison population.
    No religion 30% of the general pop. – 30% of the prison population.

    The last isn’t a surprise to me since without any guiding moral or ethical principles, what would you expect?

    But, perhaps our future immigration requirements might be better served by recruiting migrants from among more law abiding fractions of the world population?

    1. Fred H
      August 14, 2019

      APL — – ‘The last isn’t a surprise to me since without any guiding moral or ethical principles, what would you expect?’

      Well I was shocked to find you spouting such nonsense attributed to being non-religious. What about the figures given for Christians? What a sneering view. Happy to cast the first stone, are you?

      1. APL
        August 14, 2019

        Fred H: “Well I was shocked …”

        Trying to figure out why I should give a damn. Uh! No, can’t thing of a single reason.

        Fred H: “What about the figures given for Christians?”

        What about it?

  24. formula57
    August 13, 2019

    Once upon a time we were told there were some five hundred “crime families” who were responsible for a material proportion of all crime and that they would be targeted in an effective counter crime strategy. No publicity since though, and no falling crime rates.

    Otherwise, an effective strategy might include making reporting burglary to the police more worthwhile than just getting a crime number for insurance claim purposes.

  25. Woody
    August 13, 2019

    Having watched a couple of documentaries recently about gambling it seems to me that there should be a new crime, encouraging gambling. I am fed up to the teeth of being advised by adverts on TV and in papers that when the fun stops stop betting. Then I hear of gambling companies closing accounts of gamblers who win too many times … in fact it seems that if they win they get their accounts closed down. But the eye opener was to hear that gambling companies offer “bonuses” to compulsive gamblers who try to stop to encourage them to restart. Figures where displayed that c4% of gamblers resulted on c74% of the income of gambling businesses, so much that big payers into the gambling coffers even get hospitality at sports events. I listened to the pompous denials by the Gambling Commission who assured that controls are working and all is well etc. It has to be stopped, crime is committed by gamblers to fund their fever, and it seems to me that crime is being committed by the gambling companies to defraud gamblers into betting more and more … the fraud is that they are made to believe they WILL win money. Yet if they win regularly their accounts are closed. Its fraud, its theft … its wrong and must be controlled better.

  26. They Work for Us?
    August 13, 2019

    The main aim should always be the protection of the public not necessarily the reform of the criminal, which may or not be possible. Note the term criminal and not the PC mealy mouthed term “offender”. When the criminal is locked up they cannot rob, burgle, intimidate or make themselves obnoxious to the public by strings of more petty crimes. The Do Gooders would have us believe that all serious criminals have an open university degree in the arts, a revealing book waiting to be written and a future career as a social worker or clergyman just waiting to get out. This is clearly not so.
    We could treat fraud more seriously by basing the sentence on the number of years at the minimum wage that it would take to “earn” the sum defrauded. Above all we need more rough tough prison staff to make sure that they not the inmates control the prisons.

  27. Kevin
    August 13, 2019

    There may be some who greet the recruitment of 20,000 new police
    officers with a degree of scepticism. Unless and until the Government
    makes a policy statement addressing public concerns at the alleged
    misuse of legislation such as the Public Order Act for political purposes,
    you may find expanding the force is perceived as compounding a problem.

  28. gregory martin
    August 13, 2019

    Amended laws to require publication of convictions, with full identity of convict, including photograph and previous residential addresses.
    Publication of reported crimes of theft, criminal damage and assault.
    Eliminate no-go areas for Police patrol, re-instate the attendance of crime scenes, and permit/require the entry to traveller encampments, on the same basis as’ stop to search’
    Extend routine night patrols and roadblocks.
    Re-instate visible Police patrols and traffic enforcement.
    Re-establish good relationships with the law abiding majority, for they are the customer.
    Fast track the Justice system further, reduce costs and put resources at the sharp end.

  29. Mike Stallard
    August 13, 2019

    Sir John, congratulations in being one of the very very few people who are being positive about our future!
    I personally want to see a Police .
    Police ought to be there as a mighty and friendly force to protect us against the very violent and dangerous thugs and gangs which menace our fragile veneer of civilization. People like me who have experienced the complete breakdown of civilized behaviour (mine was Sierra Leone, but people in the Middle East, Hong Kong, parts of London or Birmingham will know what I mean) know how very fragile the crust which protects us from complete barbarism really is.
    When I see pictures of police people they do not look like a Police Force. I do not want to be personal, but I could be. We need strong men and women who will, and I quote here, terrify the criminals.
    That is what I want to see: strong, sensitive, polite and helpful men and women on the streets finding out what it going on before it turns really nasty. At the moment they are not doing that – certainly round here they’re not anyway. There are precisely 8 for the whole of Wisbech and they get called into nearby Peterborough when there is another emergency.
    It is a complete change of direction which we need – before it is too late.

  30. Brian Tomkinson
    August 13, 2019

    How much police time is taken checking what people have written on social media? The impression is that it is disproportionatly high against actual physical crimes which appear to be ignored even when cctv evidence is available to assist the detection and apprehension of the criminals. In addition, the police complaints of lack of manpower and money seem incongruous with the number of times they and others show videos of their officers dressed up, ‘dancing’ and covorting in the streets during certain marches, with their cars in some instances specially painted for the occasion.

  31. Julie Williams
    August 13, 2019

    What you propose sounds good but so did Cameron on knives!
    Doesn’t happen, does it?
    Stop trying to administer justice on the cheap, stop backing away at the first accusations of racism and breaking “human rights” and replace politically correct officials with ones that follow the law.
    The majority in this country have been watching with bemusement while government doesn’t do the obvious and now it’s time to see action.

  32. Alan Jutson
    August 13, 2019

    Well done Boris and indeed Priti.

    Aware it is only a review, although to listen to opposition Mp’s and the Media you would have thought it was already decided.

    About time a Prime Minister listened to the peoples thoughts rather than weak willed advisors, many who seem to have their own agenda.

    Afraid low order crime is often the start of a criminal career, get away with that multiple times with a simple slap on the wrist, (if caught) and you undermine the social cohesion of a civilised society.

    Drugs its use and sale is a massive cause of crime and disruption, we simply have to find a solution to this problem, be it education with the odd visit of a police officer/medical doctor to schools, long penal sentencing for drug gangs, or confined detox establishments for those with the worst addictions.
    Whilst I cannot see how legalised use would work, it is worth further investigation.
    Has any Country solved this curse ?

    1. Alan Jutson
      August 13, 2019

      “Police and Doctors”

      Perhaps I should have been clearer.

      The visiting to Schools of Police and medical doctors would be to advise and educate the students and teachers.

  33. David Cooper
    August 13, 2019

    Obstruction of the highway is a crime, and a particularly aggravating one when perpetrated on a main road at rush hour by eco-anarchists. So let us bring an end to the idea that the police “service” is only there to keep the peace between the inconvenienced and the perpetrators, and let us instead be assured that the police “force” will clear the highway from obstruction immediately if this should happen again, and have the ringleaders arrested and charged. It’s not rocket science. If this must necessarily involve purging Common Purpose “graduates” from the ranks of senior police officers, so be it.

  34. Iain Moore
    August 13, 2019

    Bring back the stocks or a modern version of the stocks. The law as we have it gives the criminal anonymity . If they burgle a house or steal a car, and in the unlikely event get caught, they get pushed through the courts system and no one outside the legal process is likely to see their face, unless you buy a local paper and then I doubt if people really take note of their picture or what they have done. So after receiving whatever punishment they are handed they can then carry on with their activities.

    Part of breaking the law and the punishment for it should be to drive home to them that they are social pariahs, and a bit of humiliation a pretty useful deterrent. So instead of making up these mickey mouse community sentences , having a criminal sitting in public view for an hour or two with a placard detailing what they have done, would be a pretty sobering experience for them, not much street cred to be got from that, in addition in removing their anonymity it would help protect the local community.

  35. Gareth Warren
    August 13, 2019

    I would like to see acid attackers and other attempts at torture treated more severely than gun violence, I would have no problem even with the death penalty.

    On the other hand I do not see why anyone committing hate speech or similar offences needs to be in prison, no matter what someone says about me (other than planning violence) I am no safer. We should put less soft crimes like this and deport where possible foreign criminals to serve their sentences. This free’s up time and puts British law equal to US law.

    Lastly the three strikes rule makes sense, the one time I did serve as juror I did find to my surprise the people our jury found guilty had committed 60-90 offences previously!

  36. Turboterrier
    August 13, 2019

    Sir John.

    Another thought poking post on what appears to be a never ending subject.
    Would it be fair to say that a lot of the problems plaguing our society especially knife and gang crime is vindication of the breakdown and abdication of discipline in the family home. To many parents have abdicated their responsibilities and dropped into the laps of teachers and social workers. It is a ever increasing circle and not just governments but communities have got to get their heads around it and start with the very young and teach them from a very early age about behaviour and we’ll being towards one’s fellow man. Until we start to make parents fully responsible for their children’s actions there will be no breaking the circle. Easier said than done but something different has to be tried. Too many of these trainee thugs, and future gang members in waiting are able to hide themselves within the welfare and counciling system at great expense to the tax payer with very little return on the investment.

    1. Caterpillar
      August 13, 2019


      I largely agree – the brain is not fully developed until about 25 years of age so behavioural competence must come before comprehension. Parents often side against schools, powerless teachers are generally not supported and there seem to be inadequate places for excluded pupils – pupil exclusion needs to be seen as an early signal and acted on. There are many reinforcing feedbacks in the UK society that are making things worse nor better.

  37. bigneil
    August 13, 2019

    John, I know someone who had 2 tickets to go to the theatre in Nottingham sometime soon. He has given them away as he feels he’d be a target for thieves as he made his way from the nearest car park – a very intimidating multi storey that goes underground and not upwards. I doubt he’ll feel he can go out at night, again, ever. Old, getting less steady on his feet and feeling scared in his own country, which his relatives fought to keep free – this country is now a 3rd world criminal, freeloaders paradise. I’m sure I saw a tear in his eye as he told me.

    You don’t put sand in while topping up the engine oil and expect everything to be OK – -well sensible people don’t.

  38. SecretPeople
    August 13, 2019

    I agree with the deportation comments, espeically for those not legally here. Normally I suggest the establishment of manufacturing industries in our prisons but for some reason newspapers tend to disallow my comments on this theme – no idea why.

    We read about conditions in prisons such as drug smuggling and abuse, gang activities, bullying, radicalisation etc. Being made to work would prevent boredom, allow prisoners to pay their way, occupy their time and help them learn skills they could use in the outside world.

    1. tim
      August 13, 2019

      they train to be better criminals in prison, its like university for criminals.

      1. formula57
        August 13, 2019

        I recall Willie Whitelaw’s temporarily much applauded “short, sharp shock” saw the worst young offenders congregated with the result that the very worst passed on their criminal capabilities to the less bad.

  39. Cornishstu
    August 13, 2019

    We don’t need more laws just enforce the existing ones. What also needs to be done is the removal of the PC type laws.

    1. Caterpillar
      August 13, 2019

      Society, law, the judiciary and the police need to be seen to value and support the peaceful, considerate citizen. This is not the case; the wrong group of people are not supported by the system and often fear it. Two simple examples come to mind – (i) there is reticence of the citizen to either intervene or contact the police before bad behaviour on the streets escalates (the well-meaning citizen will be accused based on some identity criteria such as age, gender, ethnicity, religion), (ii) too much ‘nuisance’ falls within tort not crime, particularly noise. People are living within closer proximity to each other, accommodation is not used for its original intended purpose (whether there are covenants or not e.g. B&B, multi-dwelling) and it is cheap to have volume loud enough to penetrate double glazing and ear defenders – this is essentially ongoing violence through the ears but all police can do is nothing other than remind victims that it is a council issue – in other words remind victims that there life is worthless under the law, whilst others are free to do what they like.

  40. Bob
    August 13, 2019

    Release the political prisoner being held at Belmarsh Prison, that would free up some space.

    Same goes for imprisonment of people resulting from watching unlicensed televisions.

    1. Everhopeful
      August 13, 2019

      Too right!
      So utterly shameful. Political prisoners were something that happened in books and the USSR…not here!!
      And anyone feeling superior…just remember …ask not for whom..and first they came for …etc etc. All those quotes that are trotted out are coming true!

  41. tim
    August 13, 2019

    Legalise drug use, including steroids, which is becoming epidemic, along with the health problems, mental and physical. Chemists prescribe free on prescription apropriate drugs, there would be a massive drop in crime. Most of the drug related health problems are caused by poor hygien/dirty needles and other fillers being added to the drugs. Drug users comit crime because they need the drugs and can not aford to buy them. The money from not supply 20,000 police and 10,000 prison places cold go to help train British Doctors and Nurses. Insurance claims would drop, ie premiums would drop. Win. Win. Win.

  42. Everhopeful
    August 13, 2019

    When the police station here was closed down there was a huge spate of car window smashing crime.
    As a message to the establishment ( though I doubt if they understood it) the criminals deposited their crowbar and hammer on the steps of the newly boarded up cop shop.

  43. Martinz
    August 13, 2019

    No John! I believe all of this investment is not a new approach to crime but more an outlay to prepare for possible civil unrest and disorder post brexit- let’s call it as we see it

  44. Lynn Atkinson
    August 13, 2019

    Deportation of nobody with dual nationality and removal in perpetuity of British citizenship. In fact I would like the U.K. to insist on no secondary citizenship at all for residents.

    1. A.Sedgwick
      August 13, 2019

      Dual nationality should not be allowed. It can be fashionable and convenient for some frequent fliers but fraught with risk for others.

  45. Newmania
    August 13, 2019

    . The aim is to keep dangerous criminals off the streets.

    After ten years of deep thought you suddenly thought of this did you, what the flip have you been doing up until now ? That is the minimum, what about tough on the causes of crime? Criminals start of as children, and while excuses are to be despised, self destructive lives are not lived by children who have the advantages you take for granted .
    A decent government would roll its sleeves up, and try the thankless difficult long term job of breaking multi generational cycles of self harm.
    Do you know there was a time when the Conservative Party was a place for new thinking ….jeeezuz … it aint any more

    1. Everhopeful
      August 13, 2019

      Trouble is successive govts have created too many diverse interest groups to do ANYTHING decisive.
      AND too much left wing pressure.
      Certainly govt would face a lot of opposition if it did anything nasty to thieves,robbers,rapists and murderers!
      The Tories (who are really Libdems) have to pander to every left wing view.
      Go on Boris …prove me wrong.

  46. Caterpillar
    August 13, 2019

    1) Whilst rehabilitation is a worthy aim, this should not be the only concern. Victims lives matter. In the case of any violent crime, even if the prisoner is supposedly rehabilitated to a low risk and low hazard status he/she should not be released unless the victim/victim’s family agrees.
    2) When one sees videos of the elderly pulled to the ground as they are robbed, one despairs. I would suggest an automatic whole life tariff if a victim of a crime dies within, say, 10 years of the crime being committed, even if unrelated to the crime.
    3) I would be concerned if Gauke’s catch and release policy is followed and leads to communities not having respite from offenders.

  47. Treacle
    August 13, 2019

    TV licence evasion should be decriminalised. That will free up some prison places.

  48. Caterpillar
    August 13, 2019

    Way Off-Topic: Even with the reports of the Argentine navy cutting, given the political changes on the Argentine horizon, the alleged struggling RN and perhaps the predictable Spanish following Brexit, is there sufficient force currently stationed in the Falklands?

  49. bill brown
    August 13, 2019

    Sir JR,

    I support your idea of less custodial sentences as we have far too many people in prison in the UK. We ahave nearly as many people in prison as France, Italy and Germany put together, there must be better solutions to us fighting crime , as we have far too many re-offenders.

    We need to work on helping the offenders back into society, much better than we do now.

    1. Fedupsoutherner
      August 13, 2019

      Bill, you only have to look at the immoral parents being paid by the tax payer to have children they can Ill afford without benefits to see where many of our problems start. Granted, not all single or married parents on benefits are bad parents. Some are excellent but we all know there are many totally unsuited to parenthood that only have children to increase their income. A friend of a friend recently said that with his 7th kid coming along he no longer needed to work. Something is radically wrong with our system.

  50. agricola
    August 13, 2019

    Enjoyed a classic example of health and safety inertia today. Went to the local chemist to collect a prescription which they had all made up and ready to go. One assistant on the counter and another four working in the back room. Not one of them was authorised to give me the prescription while the only pharmacist was off site at lunch. I might add that the contents were pretty innocuous.

    Were I so inclined I could freely buy class A drugs and cannabis with no visible restriction whatever. To me it indicates a lack of interest on the part of law enforcers in criminal activity, but an over regulated approach to daily life with a sense that very few are allowed to take responsibility for anything. I wonder how many customers were inconvenienced by one pharmacist’s need to eat and health and safety gone bonkers.

  51. Gareth Warren
    August 13, 2019

    On a different note, it sounds like the US government are really keen to trade with us after brexit, as Mr Bolton said:

    “If that is the decision of the British government, we will support it enthusiastically. That is the message I am bringing: we are with you. Britain’s success in successfully exiting the EU is a statement about democratic rule and constitutional government that is important for Britain but for the US too.”

    The best part though is the complete understanding of the nature of EU:

    “The fashion in the European Union when the people vote the wrong way from the way the elites want to go, is make the peasants vote again and again until they get it right.”

    (from Guido Fawkes)

    Looking forward to the UK breaking the trend and asserting real democracy.

    1. Sir Joe Soap
      August 13, 2019

      Excellent. I look forward to it being reported on BBC News.

    2. Mitchel
      August 13, 2019

      What is Mr Bolton’s stock reaction when people in Latin America vote the “wrong way”?

      Gullible doesn’t even begin to describe some of you people!

    3. Fedupsoutherner
      August 13, 2019

      Brilliant Gareth. I think many countries will watch the outcome with great interest. After all we are the founders of democracy and always preaching to others

    4. Martinz
      August 13, 2019

      Britain voted ‘leave’ in order to regain its sovereignty and now is about to hand it all over to Bolton’s USA- you are about to become the true US vasalage state by default- the original laughing stock- all that needs to be done ñow is to sign here, here and here- stupidos- and you will find yourselves at the frontline of whatever war that Bolton Kushener and Co can think up. So hope you build in a clause that says that Bolton must go to the frontline himself to have a good look- knowing that he can’t see very well without his specs.

      1. Gareth Warren
        August 14, 2019

        We got into plenty of wars while in the EU, I note our “friends” would not even stand by us during the Falklands war while countries we applied tariffs to such as New Zealand offered us help. Trump has had more opportunities then enough to start a war if he wanted but has refused to.

        Personally I would be quite happy to sign a FTA with the US now, they will not subject us to their courts nor demand payment for the privilege of trading as the EU does to us today.

        I just hope here we can invoke GATT 24 to start things early.

    5. bill brown
      August 13, 2019


      It all sounds great with the US, however it will take years. The approach by sector can only be implemented once the fundamentals are in place, just ask Mexico and Canada with whom US makes most trade, how long it took. This si more fake news I am afraid

  52. The Prangwizard
    August 13, 2019

    Why such a hoohar about drivers again? Answer – soft option. Sounds tough.

    Most of the potential offenders that the MPs want to criminalise are otherwise law abiding I would venture. If those MPs turned there attention to reviewing and increasing punishment for thieves and the violent they would be putting their time to better use and getting support from the majority of their constituents.

    But no, that’s hard work. Much better to virtue signal.

  53. BR
    August 13, 2019

    My solution to prisons is to have sentences doubled, but prisoners can earn 2/3 off by working.

    Since few real businesses would trust them, I propose putting recycling plants next to prisons and have the prisoners sort the rubbish – a task that is difficult now with current technology. Some manual recycling could be done to improve the types of materials that can be recycled.

    None of this would take away jobs, since it’s work that’s not being done now since it’s too labour-intensive to be cost effective.

    It can be justified as (a) people learning to work for a living and (b) making all parts of society part of the drive to meet the low-carbon target.

    Possibly more trustworthy, low-risk prisoners could do other work.

    1. Dennis
      August 13, 2019

      BR good points. Prisoners working should also get paid an appropriate rate so that their victims can be compensated twice the monetary value of damage and then more work to save perhaps £500 to be in their pocket when they leave prison. So the length of sentence would in those cases depend on how long it takes to pay back and save. More work you get out sooner. If don’t want to work then double the sentence period in prison.

      If you write off a £3000 car then at £5/hr it would take 600 hours and at 6 hours work per day would take only 200 days to pay back double £6000 – just less than 7 months! Perhaps a usual sentence for stealing a car and writing it off is more than this time, I don’t know. If criminals knew that they would have to pay back double could it be a deterrent of some sort?

  54. Andy
    August 13, 2019

    Prison needs to be cheaper and harder, sentences need to be longer and there can be no early releases, good behaviour shouldn’t be rewarded but bad behaviour should be punished.

    Repeat offenders should face exponential increases in sentences. Forget about trying to ‘reform’ people, if they choose to not commit crimes any more, then great, otherwise they need to face hard time.

  55. John Robertson
    August 13, 2019

    Having witnessed a huge influx of illegal immigrants to a town and seeing how it turned it into a lawless frightening place I see car crime as being key.

    With number plate recognition the police should be able to identify thousands of either stolen or unregistered/taxed vehicles assuming they would also call in those with unreadable plates.

    Sort that side of car crime and I think it would take the police to the core of this problem.

  56. Matt Ryan
    August 13, 2019

    Ah, banning pointy sticks and rocks. As ever, MPs have no real solution to the problem.

  57. The Prangwizard
    August 14, 2019

    First offenders except for murder and other violence with intent could get one third off only with good behaviour. All subsequent imprisonments the full term with no possibilty of reduction. Third offence double the maximum sentence.

  58. Iain Gill
    August 14, 2019

    got to be said the youtube crimebodge channel is well worth a watch

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