by Matt Gallagher on October 2, 2012
Crime prevention makes sense. Less crime means fewer victims, fewer arrests, fewer court cases, fewer prisoners, and an easing of the pressure on police and the justice system.
The cost of dealing with a crime and the offender responsible for it can run to several tens of thousands of pounds for each case. It can cost up to £40,000 a year to send someone to prison. A Crown Court case can cost £3,000 a day, a Magistrates hearing £900. Police investigations, and the cost of preparing a prosecution can range from several hundred pounds to six figure sums, depending on the scale of the enquiry. The cost to a victim and their family can be incalculable.
How much better for everyone if the crime isn’t committed in the first place.
When the police service was established in 1829, its aim was stated to be the ‘prevention and detection’ of crime.
The police then moved away from this model. The public were encouraged to ring 999 and officers would respond quickly to the call in their new ‘panda cars’. At least, that was the theory, but the police have been swamped by demand ever since.
The Liberal Democrats have a plan to refocus frontline police on preventing and detecting crime, and reducing their involvement in the ‘social work’ aspect of their job.
Our manifesto will be published shortly, with details of how this can be done. It will be good news to frontline officers who want to concentrate on working with communities to catch criminals and prevent offending.