Opinion and Editorial from the Policy Exchange team.
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Crime and Justice Blogs
Charlotte McLeod, Policy Exchange’s Crime & Justice Research Fellow, considers whether we need a specific offence of domestic violence. Charlotte argues that a new offence would require extensive consultation, legal expertise and a continued commitment to tackle it.
Court closures may not be a vote winner, but they could hold the key to improving our justice system and meeting budget targets
Charlotte McLeod, Policy Exchange’s Crime & Justice Research Fellow, argues that a strategic review of the court estate is needed in order to improve efficiency and effectiveness. Charlotte proposes that the government should close courts that are outdated and unfit for purpose and introduce mobile or temporary courts and ‘Justice Hubs’ in order to dispense justice – as recommended in our report, Future Courts.
David Lammy MP, Policy Exchange’s new Visiting Fellow, calls for property crime to be tackled head on. It is an issue that touches people from all backgrounds, but particularly the low paid and most disadvantaged, yet half of all reported property crimes result in ‘no further action’ by the Metropolitan Police. Property crime needs to shoot up the public policy agenda as a matter of urgency.
Charlotte McLeod, Policy Exchange’s Crime & Justice Research Fellow, highlights the problems with the criminal justice system’s approach to domestic violence. Charlotte argues that we need to find alternative, more proactive ways of tackling domestic violence and improving the confidence for victims that their abusers will be convicted. Ultimately, however, she argues that we must also see society change its attitude and shift the blame and responsibility from victims to perpetrators
Max Chambers, Policy Exchange’s Head of Crime & Justice, sets out what improvements need to be made to the justice system in order to actually change criminals’ behaviour. The system would be need to be faster, so that the connection between offence and punishment is not lost over time, punishment would be more certain through greater detection of crime, and more problem-solving techniques would be incorporated.
Charlotte McLeod, Policy Exchange’s Crime & Justice Research Fellow, highlights the shameful failure of the UK government to properly tackle female genital mutilation, despite the practice being outlawed 30 years ago. Charlotte sets out five ways in which the government can do more to eliminate the practice.
Reforming the courts
Policy Exchange’s Head of Crime & Justice Max Chambers makes the case for the introduction of drugs courts in the UK. These courts would offer people the treatment they need, but demand more of them in return, with judges given a flexible range of available incentives and sanctions to deploy. Max shows how in the US, such courts have saved $3 in avoided criminal justice costs for every $1 spent, rising to $26 in wider societal savings.
Predictions of doom have not materialised and PCCs are proving they have the potential to be an effective catalyst for change
Charlotte McLeod, Crime & Justice Research Fellow at Policy Exchange, argues that the one year anniversary of the Police & Crime Commissioner elections has marked a turning point in perception of the role. Charlotte argues that focus is beginning to move away from election reproach and expenses scandals and towards the recognition that reforms are beginning to work.
Max Chambers, Head of Crime & Justice at Policy Exchange, argues that it’s time to reform the English courts to maximize the international competitive advantage we hold in the legal services industry and to provide a substantial revenue for our courts.