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Britain to get 'tough but intelligent' on law and order

23 october 2012, 11:39
0
British Prime Minister David Cameron will on Monday call for a "tough but intelligent" approach to law and order, advocating a combination of tough prison sentences and lighter rehabilitation methods, AFP reports.

In a major speech aimed at resetting the political agenda following weeks of bad news for the government, will call for a new approach to punishment and rehabilitation, according to extracts released by his Downing Street office.

"Go to some neighbourhoods in our country and you can feel that aspiration is dead," he will argue.

"Children learning from a young age that life is about surviving, not thriving. Gang leaders as role models -- drug dealers as career advisors.

"This doesn't just matter to the elderly lady with five bolts on her front door... or the woman terrified to walk home in the dark. It matters to all of us."

As part of what the prime minister will call his "tough but intelligent" policy, he will urge more payment-by-results schemes for companies, charities and voluntary groups who help criminals avoid reoffending.

"We're saying to charities, companies and voluntary organisations -- come and help us rehabilitate our prisoners," he will say.

"Give offenders new skills. Educate them. If they've been in a gang, send a reformed gang member to meet them at the prison gates and take them under their wing. If they're on drugs, try the latest techniques to get them clean.

"Do whatever it takes to get these people back living decent, productive lives. We will pay you for that, but -- and it's is a major 'but' -- once again the payments will depend on results.

Cameron will also declare his intention to get tough on serious crimes.

"Victims need to know the criminal will be held to account and dealt with," he will insist.

"Retribution is not a dirty word. It is important to society that revulsion against crime is properly recognised.

"But punishment is what offenders both deserve and need, too. It says to them: 'You are adults. Your actions have consequences'.

"To treat criminals as victims -- to say they had no choice -- is to treat them like children," he will add.

Cameron revealed his intention to crack down on law and order last month when he replaced justice secretary Ken Clarke with the more hardline Chris Grayling.

Cameron's speech Monday will also point out that he never used the phrase "hug a hoodie" to describe his attitude towards criminal justice.

A "hoodie" is British slang for a youth, usually seen wearing a hooded top, who engages in antisocial behaviour.

The phrase has frequently been used in the media to characterise his attempts to soften the Conservative Party's image towards law and order.

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