Friday, February 19, 2010

David Strang, chief constable of Lothian and Borders Police supports SNP Policy that prison needs to be used less, prevention is better than cure

Dear All

David Strang is chief constable of Lothian and Borders Police, he has an opinion.

He believes that greater emphasis should be on tackling the causes of crime rather than just punishing the offenders.

Prison is necessary but it isn’t the be all and end all.

Strang is calling for prison to be used less; the fact is the prison system is cluttered up with people who shouldn’t be there when alternative punishments might work far more effectively.

The amount of people who are repeat offenders shows that the system doesn’t work.

We need to keep people out of prison and change their mindset and lifestyle.

This is not easy as we are dealing with people who have no stake in society; they have no fear of loss because society has effectively shut them out of employment, educational and social opportunities.

Strang, said;

“The real solution is actually in tackling the underlying causes of crime. It is about engaging with parents and communities, and recognising that in the long term that is what we need to do, rather than just sending people to prison.”


The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act needs to be rewritten

The DWP needs to be restructured

People need to be given a real and meaningful stake in society

I saw on panorama, the case of a boy in England who had been involved in a life of crime; he decided to change, his problem was his record which was an effective bar to employment.

But he wanted to change and make a fresh start, so he lied to get a job.

His reward when he was found out was that he was fired and up in court.

If the best that society can offer people such as him is menial jobs with no future then he has no reason to rehabilitate because he has no future.

It is as simple as that.

The SNP Government is trying to turn people around so that they stop repeat offending but it is not an easy task, the status quo is send them to prison, it is quick and requires little thought which explains why it is so popular with the Labour Party.

The mantra ‘tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime’!

Everyone locked up in prison places a burden on the taxpayer of £32k a year.

And society doesn’t reap much of a benefit other than a respite.

Mr Strang added;

“Police officers know that if you arrest someone and they get sent to prison, when they come out they will go straight back to shoplifting or whatever they were involved in”.

Since ‘tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime’ hasn’t worked, is it not time to be smart?

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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