Swindon
Socialist Unity

Our Policies

Tackle the causes of crime

 

No more growth of Swindon

Council housing

No to NHS privatisation

For publicly owned subsidised busses and trains

 

 

I reject the idea that the police or the criminal law are the best ways of dealing with some undesirable behaviors.

 

For 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.

 

Violence 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.

 

Last 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.

 

In my 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.