Thursday, April 10, 2008

Nobody Believes A Word They Say

Following the TPA's Cost of Crime paper, I took a look at the latest Social Trends on Crime and Justice. It reports findings from the most recent British Crime Survey asking people how confident they feel about various aspects of the Criminal Justice System (table 9.20).

And guess what. Despite the constant propaganda about falling crime, even according to the government's own survey, must of us have little or no confidence in the System's effectiveness. Around two-thirds of us do not believe it reduces crime, or brings bad guys to justice, or meets the needs of victims, or deals with cases promptly and efficiently. And when it comes to dealing with young tearaways, fully 75% of us think it's useless.

Of course, the government's line is that we simply don't understand. Crime is not a real problem, it's just that we stupid ill-informed dumbos out here are in the grip of A Moral Panic whipped up by the Daily Mail.

Next time someone in Jacqui Smith's star-studded team suggests that, just remember: our Criminal Justice System costs us around £30bn pa, or £1200 pa for every household. And if we had any choice at all, we'd shop elsewhere.

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