12 February 2007

Soft on Crime, Soft on the Causes of Crime and, Crucially, Soft in the Head

IN the EU premier league of criminality, Britain is jostling aggressively for pole position with Ireland, who manages to hang tenaciously onto the top spot, according to EU International Crime and Safety Survey. The survey, compiled by the UN and the EU Commission, is billed as being, 'the most comprehensive analysis of crime, security and safety ever conducted in the EU.' It reveals that 21 per cent of British citizens saw or were subjected to some form of criminality in 2004, worsted only by Ireland's 22 per cent. The average rate of exposure in the EU's (then) 15 member countries (plus Estonia, Poland and Hungary) was 15 per cent which, when one considers this includes supposedly 'uncouth' former Soviet Bloc countries like Hungary and Poland, paints a depressing picture of Britain's lapse from it's renowned civility into the near lawlessness that currently blights so many lives. Interestingly, the report's authors upset the socialist apple-cart by concluding that, 'Within the European context levels of crime seem to be neither associated with poverty nor with national wealth.'
Humorously, Home Office bummer-boy Anthony McNulty, whom VPL has bloodily scourged before for his torrents of verbal diarrhoea, claims of the survey that:
'We have concerns about its quality and the comparisons. It does not take account of any recentcrime reduction measures to tackle alcohol misuse, the acquisitive crime campaign and tough new measures in the Violent Crime Reduction Act to tackle gun and knife crime.'
Well, Mr McNulty, sorry to break it to you, but according to your own figures, muggings and burglaries at gunpoint rose by ten per cent in 2006 and, as for alcohol misuse, don't even get us started on the Licencing Act 2003. To top it all off, hot-out-of-the-oven Home Office figures have revealed that of the 306,600 indicted wrongdoers sentenced in 2006, an astounding 269,806 (yes, that's 83 per cent) had prior convictions; proof perfect that our penal system is so ridiculously indulgent of its inmates that it no longer serves as an adequate disincentive to our criminal underclass. Maybe somebody should petition the government to reintroduce the Poire d'angoisser (okay, maybe just hard labour)? The whole government should go away and read The Abolition of Liberty and Fixing Broken Windows: Restoring Order and Reducing Crime in Our Communities.

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