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Targeting the criminal to stop the crime
27 March 2007
The government announces a new approach to security, crime and justice.
The government today published a new approach to crime and justice that targets the offender, rather than focusing on the offence.
The wide-ranging policy explains how new technology, police powers, service structures and innovative methods of fighting offending will keep pace with changes in society and in criminal activity.
Focusing on three critical areas
The policy is based around three areas:
- prevention of crime - starting with identifying at-risk children and intervening early in their lives, and continuing with targeting and stopping the most prolific offenders
- detection and enforcement - ensuring police, courts and prosecutors can punish crimes rapidly and enforce sentences fully, and giving them the powers to seize criminal's assets
- reforming the criminal justice system - ensuring the system is responsive to the needs of law-abiding citizens by involving the best service providers and expanding the role of the voluntary sector, while giving well-paid, properly supported workforces the powers they need to do their jobs
Taken together, these issues cover the spectrum of crime, from police and social workers on the streets, through the courts, prison and probation systems.
Immediate actions being taken
Among the measures announced today is a review of the police service led by Sir Ronnie Flanagan, Chief Inspector of Constabulary.
In addition, the prolific offender case management programme will be expanded to tackle the repeat criminals who are responsible for a disproportionately large percentage of all crimes - 5,000 offenders are responsible for one crime out of 10 committed in the UK.
Since recovering the ill-gotten gains from lives of crime is one of the best ways to fight crime - taking away the financial reward that makes it worthwhile - the government will be aiming for an ambitious new target to double the amount seized from £125 million to £250 million a year by 2010.
Tough new community punishments are also proposed, with communities given a more direct say in how offenders should best make amends for the harm they have caused to their communities.
Building on achievements already reached
The Home Secretary John Reid said the new policies build on all that the government has achieved on crime in recent years, in lowering crime rates and improving public safety.
'Crime is down by 35% since 1997, but there is no room for complacency,' Dr Reid said.
'We know that criminals will continue to find new ways of breaking our laws and attempting to avoid justice, and we need to be one step ahead in ensuring the most serious and persistent offenders are dealt with swiftly and efficiently.'