» Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Asked whether the Prime Minister thought that locking up more criminals would cut crime, the Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) told the assembled press that the Justice Secretary would be setting out proposals this afternoon. The PMS said that the system was not delivering what really mattered, which was improved public safety through more effective punishments that reduced the prospect of criminals re-offending time and again.

The PMS added that the Prime Minister’s view was that prison was the right place for serious and dangerous offenders and the Government would always ensure there were always sufficient numbers of prison places available.

Asked what the Prime Minister meant by the system not working when more criminals had been locked up and crime was falling, the PMS replied that re-offending rates were still very high. What was important was that we tackled the cycle of people leaving prison and then re-offending. This was critical when trying to cut crime rates overall.

The PMS added that the Home Secretary had said on many occasions that, even though crime levels were the lowest on record, they were still too high. If people had committed offences, then it was up to the courts to give them the appropriate punishment.

Asked why the Prime Minister thought that people who had committed knife offences didn’t necessarily have to go to prison, the PMS said that ultimately it was up to judicial discretion, but clearly prison would be appropriate for particular cases. The PMS said that those people who used knives when committing crimes should expect a prison sentence. Knife crime did cover a wide range of offenders and circumstances and the courts should have that flexibility.

Put that that wasn’t what the Prime Minister was saying before the General Election, the PMS said that Ken Clarke would set out the proposals this afternoon.

When asked if the Prime Minister had got less concerned about people carrying knives, the PMS said that certainly wasn’t the case. The PMS said that this was about how to give the most appropriate punishment to those people who used knives when committing offences.

Asked if the Prime Minister was worried that voters trust would be damaged, the PMS said that we were in a Coalition Government. The Justice Secretary would be setting out the Government’s proposals this afternoon.

original source.

Briefing took place at 10:00 | Search for related news

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