The CPF recently hosted an online policy workshop with WAVE Trust on the topic of crime prevention. Members considered a series of questions and suggested what policies might help to prevent crime. Below are some of their thoughts.
What further work, from both a legislative and social perspective, could be done to reduce the potential of a prisoner reoffending once they have left prison?
‘We welcome the work that the government has already done to address this and particularly acknowledge that, via the Offenders (Day of Release from Detention) Bill, prisoners are able to access vital support services after leaving prison.’
‘No prisoner should be able to leave prison without a firm offer of employment or a place on a training course. This would give prisoners some degree of stability and something to focus on.’
‘Given that the rates of literacy and numeracy for adult prisoners are well below the national average, there should be a focus on teaching these skills whilst people are detained under the care of the state.’
In the aftermath of the 2011 London riots, David Cameron stated that family dysfunction was one of its leading causes. Provided that you agree with this statement, what policies, if any, do you think should be introduced to prevent a potential recurrence?
‘The education system needs actively to promote the concept of marriage as the best environment to bring up children. While this may lead to accusations of social engineering, the evidence would justify such an approach.’
‘The current tax system does not adequately encourage individuals to marry. There should be further reform around this.’
‘There needs to be much greater investment in health workers and early intervention so that more issues can be nipped in the bud.’
‘The Family Hubs program should be rolled out across the whole of the UK as quickly as possible.’
‘Explore whether the model used in Iceland could be adopted in the UK, whereby significant resources and funding were used to provide children with sporting and leisure activities, twinned with very strict curfew agreements and parents agreeing to take direct responsibility if their children committed a crime or anti-social behaviour.’
What policies, if any, should be introduced to address knife crime and how might we deter individuals from carrying knives in the first place?
‘Need to address the reasons why people carry knives in the first place - are they carrying unresolved trauma and feel that they require a knife for defence purposes?’
‘More community education around the consequences of carrying knives. This could be achieved by giving employees the right to take time off to act as mentors to young people.’
‘The Online Safety Bill should be amended to prevent the advertising of illegal weapons and to prevent individuals from promoting any activities pertaining to these weapons.’
‘There needs to be a strong response from police akin to a "one strike, you are out" approach.’
Both the Department of Health and the Department for Education have identified a causality between educational disengagement and criminal activity in later life. Is there anything further that the Conservative Party could do within the educational system to address this?
‘Vocational education needs to be given a parity to academic education to ensure that every pupil is given an education that is relevant to their specific needs.’
‘The government should explore the possibility of starting the school day slightly later in the day and reform school holiday policy so that children do not have long periods of time away from education.’
Keep an eye on our Events page for similar policy workshops in the future.