I very much welcome Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s strategy to get tough on the criminals who blight our streets and neighbourhoods. To deal with crime effectively, it requires a strategic approach that looks at everything. It is not just as simple as needing more police, as much as the 20,000 additional police that has been pledged is very helpful. We need to look at many things, including laws, tougher sentencing, police powers, rehabilitation and prisons.
Being tough on the causes of crime will achieve little unless we are actually tough on crime itself. For far too long, left-wing and liberal thinking has permeated through our criminal justice system, with it feeling as though the rights of criminals come before those of the law-abiding majority. We see brazen criminality and lawlessness because of a lack of deterrents, with weak punishments and being caught seen as an occupational hazard.
We are all concerned about the amount of knife crime which is often drug crime related. It needs to be seen and understood that carrying a knife is a risk not worth taking, rather than it being seen as a common practice and somehow normal. In recent years, we have had some high-profile knife crime in Crawley and I think we would all agree that one stabbing is one too many.
With knife crime and gang violence blighting the country, Boris has declared that “the time for pieties is over” as has signalled a hardline approach to restore control of the streets, which means coming down hard on criminals.
Just one aspect is the police being able to make greater use of stop-and-search powers. An existing pilot is being extended so that 8,000 more officers can decide to deploy stop-and-search across an area without a senior officer needing to give the go-ahead. The officer can proceed simply on the basis that they think a crime may be committed, rather than currently the criteria being thinking a crime will be committed. The police are to be given the powers and resources they need and it those considering crime who now need to be fearful.
Councillor Duncan Crow, Leader of Crawley Borough Council Conservative Group
14th August 2019