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Last updated: Friday, 21 February, 2003 17:08
Cracking Crime
Crime
Crime will never go away...but we can do more to crack down on it.

What's the best way to crack crime? Here's your chance to send us your thoughts.

Is it more officers on the beat, is it rehabilitating criminals, or is it a matter for the community...can we do more ourselves to stop crime?

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We want your views as to how best reduce crime in our communities. Are you a police officer who can see things going wrong? Are you a former criminal and have ideas of your own? Or are you or have you been a victim of a crime...and is enough being done to help you?


Click here to join the debate, and add your comments

Joseph L. Bass, Suffolk, Virginia, USA

Comment: The English governmental policy of self defense and gun prohibition has obviously failed and English people are being unnecessarily murdered.

As found in Joyce Malcolm's book Guns and Violence: The English Experience, the English experience has been increasing violent crime with self defense and gun prohibition while the American experience has been decreasing violent crime with an increasing number of states passing concealed carry laws.

Doesn't anyone over there read reliable research on crime and violence?

Read John Lott's More Guns, Less Crime for a detailed discussion of the American successes in reducing violent crime through liberalization of gun laws.

We have declining violent crime in those states with concealed carry laws and high rates of violent crime in states with restrictive, gun control laws.

I was interviewed by a BBC news crew in northern Virginia during the Sniper situation; I guess I was too convincing in presenting a pro-gun point of view. The BBC didn't use any of the footage.

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Mark, Reading
Comment: Crime is on the increase? WHY?!! We have around 200,000 police officers in this country policing 60 million people, now to me that just doesn't add up. We need more police!. Also we need harsher punishment for ALL crimes. People who break into cars for example, should be made to pay for the damage and do community service for at least a month. Prison sentences should be lenghtened and prisons shouldn't have such luxeries as televisons and the change to get a degree. Criminals make our life hell, when they ask for forgiveness we're told to to abide, however, if they keep doing it, whats the point! The situation is out of control in this country. We need to sort it out!! And FAST!!
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Ashley, st.peters
Comment: hi my name is ashley and i think that the kids/teens who committed the creime should be the ones who pay the time.

they need to learn how to take responsibility and find out what the consequences are so they wont do it again. they chose the path of life so let them take responsibility for it.
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Derek, Poole
Comment: The gaols are full and we need a deterrent, so why not cull the unlawful incarcerated herd choosing the victims by lots. Names drawn out of the hat annually and each without exception are disposed of. 20% per annum should do the trick.
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Kev Troop, Havant

Comment: NO JAIL FOR BURGLARS!

This must surely make the police feel they are wasting their time and efforts in even bothering to catch such offenders…although I suppose they would have to waste their time in order to ascertain whether or not the offence was a first, second an imprisonable third!

Now how does that rate for time wasting…?

Personally, I believe that immediate retribution is needed.

Not necessarily a prison sentence…they only learn more interesting ways of carry out crime…so we’re told! I think an impermeable tattoo across their forehead letting the public know just what sort of person they are on our street.

This could be removed after say three to six months as I feel that unless these individuals stayed indoors throughout the sentence period (thus giving us all a rest from their crime), they would have had quite enough of the jeering and embarrassment from the general public on the street.

Or perhaps manacled house arrest, whereby the criminal cannot leave their home and are tethered at the ankles…? What we need to do is remove them from civilised society…pronto!

“How can he mention civilised society and such items as above…?” I hear you ask?

Quite simply; it’s becoming patently obvious that our Government is losing its grip on crime and punishment – this is of course my opinion but there are many others I talk to that of the same ilk! I also believe that it will not be too long before the ‘civilised public’ take things into their own hands and measure out their own retribution – believe me…the “Star Council” isn’t that far off…!!! Fat too much importance is put on the “reforming” criminals, while the rest of us have to suffer at the hands of these individuals.

Yes…a lot of today’s crimes are committed by drug addicts seeking to pay for their habit…tough! I smoke; an equally (if not more) difficult drug addition to stop as it’s even more freely available but if I haven’t decided to finance my expensive habit by burglary, knocking down the elderly and so on. If drug addicts think they can finance their habit by crime then the treatment must and has to be incarceration into a clinic for treatment.

Don’t tell…there aren’t enough clinics, nor staff to operate them! Then perhaps cold turkey under the house arrest option above…it’s the only way!

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Nick, Southampton

Comment: I used to live in portswood,im 19,and lived there since i was 17,there are huge groups of kids who openly go around breaking into cars,attacking passers bye,even throwing stones through windows of the house i lived in.

ive seen them take ecstasy,speed and after smoking skunk,they are around12-15! theauthorities in southampton need to open their eyes to a problem the well-to-do wouldnt even beleive.

i dont blame them wholey for their actions its a problem that lies with their abusive and anti-social parents.they brought them up to be un-intelligent thugs,so they should be the ones who should pay for the damage to the community.its not a problem that will go away either,nothing at all is being done,where are the police?

i hope one person in southampton,who is in a position of authority,reads this,thanks

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Peter Ware, Dorking
Comment: I am a retired Detective. Police will no longer investigate petty (whatever that means) crimes. I have evidence this policy is unlawful. Local MP indifferent. How can I get this changed?
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Ian Gordon, Winchester

Comment: My wife is a farmers daughter she wants to join my daughter on the March on Sunday.

When I was looking for transport for her to go. I was very surprised to hear the vast diversity of people who are joining the march.

I spoke to three organisers none of whom are members of the foxhunting faternity.

My late motherinlaw was a subject of countryside crime the thieves that took her quad bike tried to run her down, if she had not had her dog with her she may not have been left to tell the tale.

It happened at around ten thirty at night because she telephoned her local police stations, in both Kent and Surrey, she was even able to advise the police by phone where the thieves were heading

It took untill 11o'clock the next day toattend. It seems that the anti hunters have been able to get the members of the public to think that the march is against hunting.

It covers a wider diversity than this and if they are not listened we will see the demise of the countryside.

As for the lady on Radio Solent complining about the signs in the Winchester City District, I hope that the police were listening and she gets prosecuted. I doubt it.

Today you are discussing crime, does it not make one wonder that if someone like this can get away with criminal damage and tresspass what message does this send out to our younsters.

Tim Burke, Editor of BBCi, Southampton says: The woman Ian is talking about was taking down the Liberty and Livelihood signs because she disagrees with the whole idea of the march. Just thought I'd let you know...just in case you weren't able to catch Radio Solent.

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Roberts, Shanklin

Comment: IT SEEMS THAT YOUTH THUGS TODAY SCORE POINTS WITH EACH OTHER IF THEY HAVE A CRIMINAL RECORD.

THERE SEEMS TO BE NO FEAR OF AUTHORITY ANY MORE AND THE MAGISTRATES SOFT APPROACH HAS DONE NOTHING BUT WORSEN THE SITUATION IN TODAYS SOCIETY.

BURGLARY IS AN EXTREMELY SERIOUS CRIME BUT TREATED WITH CONTEMPT BY THE COURTS. THERE SHOULD BE A STAGGERED SCALE OF SENTENCES FOR BURGLARS I.E. THREE STRIKES AND YOUR OUT.

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George Baker

We all know the answer so why all the talk

We need a much greater Police presence on our streets. not at the Station--not in Cars but on foot.

Parents must be responsible for their Children. Make them pay for any damage caused by their young.

If they are on "the Social" then stop their payments. next, send them to Prison.

Remember the Mother who kept her Children away from School? a few days in prison changed her ways.

If you want the Crime rate lowered--especially by youths you must be tough. Humiliate them. Make them a laughing stock to their mates. Publicly Birch them or use the Stocks. Stop the chat--do something.

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Tony Stirling, Alresford

Comment: It is evident that the local police can't or won't do sufficient to tackle the problem.

The Chief Constable should be held accountable for failing to maintain law and order.

The residents need to establish a trained community action group, who are on standby to help those who are being attacked by the yobs, and where necessary to make citizens' arrests.

Additionally, the parents of the trouble-causing children and youths should be evicted, and the trouble makers themselves hauled before the courts and sent to detention centres. Thank you

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Jack Lawson, Bournemouth

Comment: We need:

1 officers on the beat again.
2 effective rehabilition
3 punishment to include some form of recompense to victims - linked to the crime
4 the public to be less apathetic

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Tim Colwell, Pennington
Comment: 1. The NFDC have done nothing to punish the parents of children who break the Tenancy Agreement by their vandalism/harrassment of other Tenants.

2. They are able to issue the weakest of the new ideas: "aceptable Behaviour contracts"...THEY REFUSE TO DO SO because they fear action under Human Rights!!!..

3. They are reluctant to start Eviction...prefering to let aggrieved Tenants move...thus allowing ghettos to start!

4. The Police will not issue ASBOs..they cost too much and are ineffective! Magistrates dont like them either!!

5.Estelle Morris and hampshire LEA guaranteed thAt all School-excluded children would be offered fulltime education from the start of this school Year.

THAT WAS A LIE!!! mY GUESS IS THAT IT WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE...CHECK IT OUT....BECAUSE THIS,I BELIEVE, IS A SERIOUS CON. HANTS HAVE BEEN UNABLE TO DO IT SO ALL 5 OF THE VERY WORST HOOLIGANS IN OUR VILLAGE ARE STILL ON PATROL DAYAND NIGHT
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H Mitchell, Basingstoke

Comment: Make ALL criminals no matter what their age, completely responsible for their actions as follows:

Make parents take responsibility for the actions of their children.

Make ALL criminals personally pay financial and total reparation to their victims and face them to apologise.

Deduct fines out of the salaries of criminals until the debt has been repaid. If they haven't got jobs, make them work!

People no longer have respect for the law and for each other. The legal system is far too lax and should be made really draconian and bring people back into line.

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A Lindsay, Bournemouth

Comment: The interview showed the local MP stating that "they needed evidence".

How much more evidence do he need than your continued footage showing scum ruining decent peoples lives.

The police are not to blame, it's the courts. Give the young thugs real punishment and not pathetic community service.

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A J Stelfox, Ferndown

Comment: My mother used to say when I was a lad 'Behave yourself - we don't want your name in the papers'

So identify hooligans (and parents) however old they are.

Get more police on the streets - take them from 'Traffic Division' Get real with sentences - look how long they tucked Archer away for versus what you get (if anything) for mugging old ladies

Listen to what everyone will tell you 'down the pub'. Hang all the do-gooders. Regards

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Colin, Christchurch

Comment: 1. Since parents seem to no longer teach their children social behaviour, should this become part of the national school carriculum?

2. Parents must be made responsible - this means they should be liable for damage /distress caused by their offspring, and should be charged in the event a crime is commited by their children

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Bob Vickers, Ferndown

Comment: We need to look at prevention rather then cure and we need to catch offenders when they are young - we need to look at real disincentives to persuing a life of crime - kids these days make a mockery of the justice system, the age of criminal responsibility needs to be lowered.

Also, parents need to be made FULLY responsible for the actions of persisitent wrong-doers that fall under the age of criminal responsibilty - perhaps through the reduction or even witholding of state benefits (where applicable) or heavier fines where not.

Another way for detering older criminals is to adopt a 'three strikes and you're out' approach whereby a third offence attracts a long custodial sentance.

Let's get real - more officers on the beat is not the real issue, let's make the officers that are out there more efficient by helping them to reduce paperwork and administration-type duties that takes them away from directly tackling crime. Thanks.

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Adrian Northover, Southampton

Comment: Many more police officers on the beat, together with a policy of zero tolorance. This has been proven to work.

If necessary, taxes should be put up to acheive the required numbers of police officers. As an interim solution, in really bad areas of crime, such as Leigh Park, why not bring in troops to patrol these areas at night, as you showed tonight so successfully policing towns in Kosovo.

Controversal this may be, but surely the law abiding residents of places such as Leigh Park deserve a better quality of life.

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