More effective community-based policing and “breaking the conveyor
belt that takes young people into crime” is the key to crime
reduction, according to shadow home affairs minister Dominic
Speaking last week at a conference by rehabilitation agency Nacro,
Grieve said: “That conveyor belt needs to be broken at different
stages, starting with intervention for children with behavioural
problems and continuing up through programmes to deal with
persistent young offenders to those helping to rehabilitate
Although there are some important measures in place, there is still
more work to be done, he added.
Nacro policy development manager Marcus Roberts said that although
the government had been right to stress the links between poverty
and offending, current language around crime often suggested a
return to the idea of a criminal class.
The reality, he said, was that offending was widespread at all
levels of society, and that one-third of men and a high proportion
of women would have a criminal record by the time they reached the
age of 30.
Roberts said it was vital to recognise that public safety was
unequally distributed across society.
“The relationship between poverty and victimisation should be as
central to the debate about crime in the next decade as the
relationship between poverty and offending has been over the past
decade,” Roberts said. “The poorer you are, the more likely you are
to be a victim.”