Posts Tagged ‘burglary’

Rise in burglary illuminates the empty space where Cameron’s crime policy should be

29/06/2011, 08:24:09 AM

by Matt Cavanagh

A couple of weeks ago, the media were briefed to expect David Cameron’s first prime ministerial speech on crime. They are still waiting. Crime remains a top-five issue for voters, but Cameron’s problem is that he doesn’t actually have any big ideas on crime, besides cutting prison places (maybe, or maybe not, it’s not quite clear) and cutting police numbers (definitely), and these aren’t policies to which he particularly wants to draw attention.

He could talk about the development of online crime maps (though don’t expect him to admit that Labour introduced them), and of course elected police and crime commissioners, though he has talked about those quite a lot already. He’s in danger of looking like he believes these mysterious individuals will cut crime all by themselves; and, anyway, there isn’t much new to say about them, other than explaining how he proposes to stop the House of Lords scuppering the idea altogether.

He’s already used up a couple of crowd-pleasing pseudo-policies, on knife crime and “bashing burglars“, to distract the tabloids from the U-turn over Ken Clarke’s jail discounts for guilty pleas. There is nothing more to say about these either, and he might even face awkward questions about whether he was economical with the truth in how he presented them, as I set out here last week. (I pointed out that the “bash a burglar” policy simply restates the existing law, as Clarke confirmed yesterday in the Commons; and that the knife crime policy fell far short of Cameron’s pre-election promise, applying only to a small sub-category, and merely hardening existing sentencing guidance, as angry Tory MPs have started to realise).


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