the idea that the police or the criminal law are the best ways of
dealing with some undesirable behaviors.
example drugs are the biggest problem for many communities, in fact
drugs rob all sense of community. But we have had 40 years of
different recipes of getting tough and the problem is still
spiraling out of control. I think we should treat serious drug
addicts as victims. Like in Portugal where heroin addicts are
proscribed the drug from their doctor, which means they don’t need
to do robberies and burglaries to feed their habit and illegal drug
pushing stops being profitable. The UK government spends £1.4bn on
dealing with drugs, two thirds of it spent on courts and prison
while only one third goes towards treatment and rehabilitation. This
approach is not working.
and yobbishness after binge drinking is also a problem, but instead
of the police being involved after the fights have already started,
I think that much more use could be made of the council’s powers to
withdraw the licences of pubs and clubs that permit binge drinking.
Don't sell excessive drink to young men in gangs to get drunk in the
first place. The most serious reported crime in Swindon is violence
against the person, with nearly 2000 incidents last year – heavier
policing is unlikely to significantly reduce these levels of crime,
a much greater effect would be achieved by tackling the culture that
promotes and tolerates drunkeness.
year there were around one thousand burglaries in Swindon reported
to the police; so this is a serious problem. There is good reason to
believe that many burglaries are related to drug addiction, so
decriminalising drugs would help by removing some of the financial
incentive for burglary. However the government could also provide
financial help for households to fit window locks, starting with the
homes of the elderly and areas with higher rates of burglary.
view if we used these more imaginative solutions then that would
free the police up to deal with other social problems like motorists
speeding. For example there are 14 children knocked down by cars
every year in Pinehurst alone. About 90 people on average are killed
or seriously injured every year in traffic accidents in the Swindon
area, and a further 500 are less severely injured in car accidents–
mostly these are caused by reckless driving and speeding. In
contrast there were just 172 robberies - yet there is a greater fear
of robbery than of being involved in a serious car accident.