Socialist Worker

Latest draconian policy on crime

by Esme Choonara
Issue No. 2101

One of New Labour’s most disgusting attempts to win ground back from the Tories is the new crime “action squad” announced last week by home secretary Jacqui Smith.

Smith said that police should be encouraged to harass young people labelled as “persistent offenders” – and hound them in their homes and neighbourhoods.

She called for such people – and their friends – to face “relentless filming throughout day and night”.

She added that those identified as “anti-social” should face daily police visits and checks on car tax, benefit claims, council tax bills and TV licences.

The draconian new measures – like Asbos – raise serious human rights concerns as they will often be targeted at people who have not been convicted of any criminal offence.

It is increasingly accepted that Asbos, a flagship policy of New Labour, don’t work.

Yet Labour continues with same failed approach – demonising, criminalising and harassing young people.

Labour’s measures are not just ineffective, they are counterproductive – creating fear and resentment and filling the prisons with people who need help, instead of offering young people support and the prospect of a decent future.

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Tue 13 May 2008, 19:09 BST
Issue No. 2101
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