After a decent interval to allow undertakers to collect the still-warm bodies from the streets after a Bank Holiday weekend full of reports of stabbings and beatings, the liberal do-gooders are striking back, lest we actually do anything too harsh, like punish offenders. First up is Magnus Linklater from the ‘Times’, who is quick to claim that prison doesn’t work:
Here is John Carnochan, head of the Violence Reduction Unit at Strathclyde Police, where knife crime is more than three times higher than in the rest of the UK: “It is a truism that putting people in jail doesn't work,” he says. “It may make the rest of us feel better, but it was never intended to solve the problem, nor does it.”Well, obviously not, John, if your knife crime figures are three times higher than the rest of the country! Perhaps you aren’t jailing enough people…?
Most detailed surveys show that people are fully aware of the limitations of prison. They know that they have become, for the most part, universities of crime, and the public are more interested in schemes that work - that offer treatment to drug addicts, training programmes for young offenders, or properly supervised service to the community. They would probably understand the Sure Start programme, which helps young families, if the Government was prepared to come out and sell it properly.Ah, yes, the age old cry of the liberal do-gooder; ‘people just don’t support my policy, there must be something wrong with them...!’
Actually, they understand all right – it’s why they don’t want to buy into more crazy schemes designed to ‘help and assist’ those who have repeatedly shown no inclination to change or help themselves.
Next up is everyone’s favourite PC PC, Sir Ian Blair, who thinks a solution to the rising tide of crime is more
Dedicated police staff are to patrol London's youth courts to encourage knife crime victims and witnesses to testify against their attackers.I wonder why the victims and witnesses are afraid to give evidence…?
The decision to put police community support officers inside the capital's youth courts is part of a series of special measures to tackle knife crime in London to be outlined by the Metropolitan police commissioner, Sir Ian Blair, later this week.
The papers for the Metropolitan Police Authority meeting make clear that Scotland Yard is well aware of the possible implications of stepping up the scale of "stop and search" operations, which will disproportionately hit young people from minority ethnic communities. The police say they will monitor the ethnic impact of the new stop and search campaigns and will try to secure a community mandate for this approach by recruiting local community leaders as observers of the enforcement campaign.Oh, yeah, that’s why. Senior police worry too much about the sensitivities of the youths, and not so much about the safety of the public. Not reassuring, is it? Nor the bit about recruiting ‘local community leaders’….
Still, that isn’t Blair’s most daft statement :
Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, said that families must confront their children over weapons in the same way as they would over drugs and excessive drinking.Yup, the most senior police officer in the land believes that it’s just escaped parent’s minds not to add in ‘Don’t carry a knife’ to the routine ‘Don’t drink and take drugs’ warning! Frankly, I’d be surprised if some of these parents can remember their kids’ names, never mind actually talk to them…
Sir Ian welcomed recent comments by a senior judge last week that said those caught carrying knives should face jail and called for a simple, tough stance, criticising the “conflicting messages” on what penalty those found with knives can expect.Perhaps I’ve missed something, but as the UK isn’t a giant open air prison (despite the best efforts of the Labour government and local councils), why on earth would kids need to resort to ‘home made weapons’?
The police chief added: “The knives we are seeing are not nearly as often home-made constructed weapons, as weapons you would take from the kitchen drawer.
Has Blair watched too many episodes of ‘Prisoner Cell Block H’ on DVD or something..?