» Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Asked how many people would be released on early licence, the PMOS referred the journalist to the Ministry of Justice. Asked if we thought the number in The Times was correct, the PMOS again referred the journalist to the Department.

Asked if the Government was accepting that this was a u-turn, the PMOS replied that we accepted that we had to respond to real pressures within the system. But it also needed to be understood why those pressures arise. Those pressures arise because we have succeeded in cutting crime by over a third, and that meant for instance that there were 1.25 million more offences brought to justice than there was five years ago. That created a pressure in turn on the prison service. We had built 20,000 extra prison places since 1997, we had created 3,500 more places in the last 2 years, and there would be 700 more this year. But the pressures continue, in part because we were convicting more people and sentencing them for longer for serious offences.

Asked what was the purpose of convicting more people, giving them longer sentences, and then letting them out before they have served their time, the PMOS replied that keeping it in perspective, they were being released just before their time. It was important to recognise that for serious crimes, the average sentence lengths had gone up by 25% in the 10 years from 1995-2005. The total number of offenders sentenced to immediate custody had increased by 26% in the same period. There are currently 40% more serious and violent offenders in prison now, than in 1997. The message was loud and clear that if you commit a serious crime, you will end up in prison.

Put that the message was – yes if you commit a serious crime you will go to prison, but that we were so short of prison places that you would be "shoved out the door", the PMOS replied that this was only a matter of a few weeks. Prison sentences were a lot longer than that.

Briefing took place at 15:00 | Search for related news

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Post a public comment

(You must give an email address, but it will not be displayed to the public.)
(You may give your website, and it will be displayed to the public.)


This is not a way of contacting the Prime Minister. If you would like to contact the Prime Minister, go to the 10 Downing Street official site.

Privacy note: Shortly after posting, your name and comment will be displayed on the site. This means that people searching for your name on the Internet will be able to find and read your comment.

Downing Street Says...

The unofficial site which lets you comment on the UK Prime Minister's official briefings. About us...


June 2007
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
« May   Jul »

Supported by


Disruptive Proactivity

Recent Briefings



Syndicate (RSS/XML)



Contact Sam Smith.

This site is powered by WordPress. Theme by Jag Singh