Crime & Justice

Daylight Robbery

Research by Policy Exchange finds that fraud and error during the COVID-19 crisis will cost the UK Government in the region of £4.6 billion. The lower bound for the cost of fraud in this crisis is £1.3 billion and the upper bound is £7.9 billion, in light of total projected expenditure of £154.3 billion by the Government (excluding additional expenditure announced in the 8th July 2020 Economic Update). The true value may be closer to the upper bound, due to the higher than usual levels of fraud that normally accompany disaster management.

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Exiting Lockdown

The UK Government should extend its Five Pillar Testing Strategy to a Six Pillar Testing and Tracing Strategy by introducing digital contact tracing as a Sixth Pillar. A Testing and Tracing Strategy should bring together expertise from the Department of Health, NHSX, NHS Digital, Police, Military and the Intelligence Agencies, to create a new independent national 24/7 Testing and Tracing Command Centre.

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Policing a pandemic

The Coronavirus pandemic represents the biggest challenge to UK police since the Second World War, according to Richard Walton, Senior Fellow at Policy Exchange and former Head of Counter-Terrorism Command at the Metropolitan Police. The paper – Policing a pandemic, part of a new series from Policy Exchange examining the policy impact of the coronavirus pandemic – recognises that, in the words of the Chief Medical Officer Prof Chris Whitty, the response of the British public to disasters and emergencies tends to be “extraordinary outbreaks of altruism”. It also notes that some aspects of criminal behaviour are very likely to decrease during periods of social distancing, for example alcohol-related disorderly behaviour, including violence that can occur in and around bars, pubs, nightclubs and restaurants, reducing police demand for emergency response calls. But the paper warns of a minority who will exploit the pandemic for criminal purposes and sets out new challenges that are likely to be faced by the police.

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The Law of the Constitution before the Court

The Supreme Court’s prorogation judgment, Miller/Cherry, was contrary to the settled law of the constitution. This paper, which complements and completes an earlier critique, refutes attempts to deny the judgment’s revolutionary character, attempts that cannot be squared with key facts about prorogation in the run-up to the Bill of Rights 1689, with Erskine May’s Law and Practice of Parliamentary, and with the primary 20th century textbook on the law of the constitution. The paper details the factual misjudgements and injustices at the heart of the Supreme Court’s judgment, and confirms the wisdom of the law of non-justiciability that the judgment casts aside.

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Justice that protects

Prisons exist to keep the public safe yet in recent years the Ministry of Justice and Her Majesty’s Prisons and Probation Service has shown that they are not capable of properly managing the most dangerous offenders. This paper, by Richard Walton – a former Head of the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command – argues that it is time for the Home Secretary, and the Home Office, to supervise prisons as they did until 2007. The Ministry of Justice as it is currently configured should be abolished, with a new Lord Chancellor’s Department replacing it to work solely on courts and justice policy, at the same time enshrining in law and practice the independence of the judiciary.

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Protest, Parliament and the rule of law

With the rhetoric inside the House of Commons ratcheted up to fever pitch this week, it is hardly surprising that protest outside Parliament became equally as chaotic and disruptive.

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Latest Crime & Justice Publications

Going Ballistic: dealing with guns, gangs and knives

Going Ballistic: dealing with guns, gangs and knives

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Going Ballistic’s findings support four primary arguments: that official crime figures do not reflect the experiences of many communities in England and Wales; that information and intelligence sharing between agencies is lacking; that early intervention and prevention work needs to be targeted and expanded and that the relevant legislation governing gun and knife crime is a mess.

Latest Crime & Justice Blogs

The Tory ‘hardliners’ showing their compassion

The Tory ‘hardliners’ showing their compassion

Max Chambers, Head of Crime & Justice at Policy Exchange, argues that the clash between Tory ‘modernisers’ and ‘traditionalists’ is a false dichotomy stirred up by the media. Max notes that Chris Grayling’s work in justice and Iain Duncan Smith’s work in welfare show that it is possible to be both Conservative and back social reform policies.

Bill of Rights: ‘Why I fear this will prove I was right to be worried’

Bill of Rights: ‘Why I fear this will prove I was right to be worried’

Dr Michael Pinto-Duschinsky, Policy Exchange’s Senior Consultant for Political Institutions, argues that the upcoming report by the Commission on a British Bill of Rights is likely to be disappointing. Michael argues that even if a British Bill of Rights is published, it is likely that the European Court of Human Rights will still have a final say on matters of national significance.

It’s time for the Crown Prosecution Service to grow up

It’s time for the Crown Prosecution Service to grow up

Karen Sosa, Crime & Justice Research Fellow at Policy Exchange and author of recent report In the Public Interest, writes highlighting failings with the Crown Prosecution Service. She calls for greater accountability for the organisation, as well as a greater public-facing approach to its work.

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