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[261] 1 september 2021: Beating crime plan: Fewer victims, peaceful neighbourhoods, safe country

Inleiding en context

Goede morgen goede collega’s, het is vandaag woensdag 1 september 2021. Een verse maand voor de boeg, maak er wat moois van. Vandaag een wat afwijkende ‘’kennisparel’’, het betreft een door de Engelse overheid uitgegeven strategieplan om de criminaliteit in al zijn verschillende hoedanigheden (verder) terug te dringen.  Het ‘’Beating Crime Plan’’ beschrijft een strategische aanpak voor het terugdringen van criminaliteit met als prioriteiten: het terugdringen van moord, ernstig geweld en terugdringen van criminaliteit op buurtniveau. Verder is de ambitie om verborgen slachtofferschap (mensenhandel, seksueel geweld, kindermishandeling) verder terug te dringen en de schade daarvan te beperken. Ook wordt ingezet op een verdere uitbreiding van de strafrechtketen en om fraude en onlinecriminaliteit met prioriteit aan te pakken. Het beschrijft onder meer hoe criminele ondernemingen die de drugsindustrie in stand houden een slag kan worden toegebracht. Volgens de Engelse overheid introduceert het plan een aantal  gedurfde nieuwe maatregelen om de criminaliteit terug te dringen en de onderliggende oorzaken van recidive aan te pakken. De uitvoering van dit plan zal een gezamenlijke inspanning vergen van alle betrokkenen binnen de strafrechtketen. Het plan beschrijft de noodzakelijke stappen die noodzakelijk zijn om de capaciteit binnen de strafrechtketen te verbeteren.

Er is trouwens de nodige kritiek gekomen op het plan. Bijvoorbeeld betreffende de zogenaamde stop- en zoekbevoegdheden van de politie. Dit blijkt een ondoeltreffende strategie te zijn bij het voorkomen van geweldscriminaliteit en kan onevenredig worden gebruikt tegen mensen met een etnische minderheidsachtergrond, met name jonge zwarte mannen. Maar goed, ik laat het aan de lezers van bijgesloten ‘’kennisparel’’ om hier een oordeel over te vellen.

Bron

UK Government (July 2021). Beating crime plan: Fewer victims, peaceful neighbourhoods, safe country. London: Her Majesty’s Stationary Office, 51 pp. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/beating-crime-plan

Samenvatting

Cutting crime is central to the government’s mission of levelling up the country. The Beating Crime Plan sets out our strategic approach to cutting crime: cutting homicide, serious violence and neighbourhood crime; exposing and ending hidden harms; and building capability and capacity to deal with fraud and online crime. It sets out how we will focus our efforts on the places where these crimes occur, the people who commit them and the criminal enterprises that fuel the drugs trade. The plan introduces bold new measures to drive down crime and tackle the underlying causes of repeat offending. The delivery of this plan will require a joint effort from everyone involved in the criminal justice system. The plan therefore sets out the steps we are taking to improve capacity across the system.

The beating crime plan makes plain that this government is on the side of the law abiding majority, and sets out how we will together deliver on our shared vision of fewer victims, peaceful neighbourhoods and a safer country. While overall crime has been falling for some time, we know that this is not a reality recognised or enjoyed by all. We also know that even where crime does fall, the public rightly expect us to be focused, smart and unrelenting in continuing to drive it down further. And over the past decade, we have also seen worrying rises in some of the most destructive and devastating crimes, such as homicide and knife crime, with drugs playing a prominent role. The COVID-19 pandemic has made a challenging picture even tougher and more complex. We’ve seen increased demand on police to enforce lockdown restrictions, alongside a significant drop in many types of crime as offenders’ movements were limited. However, criminals took their activity online and sought to exploit digital opportunities for fraud and crime.

This plan introduces bold new measures to drive down crime:

  • reconnecting the police with the public – we will ensure every single person living in England and Wales will have access to the police digitally through a national online platform, allowing them to access a range of interactive police services in one coordinated place, including details about their neighbourhood police officers and their contact details so that they can raise any concerns with their neighbourhood officers directly
  • improving the responsiveness of local police to 101 and 999 calls – by working with HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services to develop league tables for answering calls and ensuring that the public know how responsive their local force is when they call them for help
  • intervening early to keep young people safe and away from violence – including a new £17 million package focused on those admitted to A&E with a knife injury or following contact with police
  • investing over £45 million in specialist teams in both mainstream schools and alternative provision in serious violence hotspots – to support young people at risk of involvement in violence to re-engage in education
  • expanding our use of electronic monitoring for serious acquisitive offenders to a further 13 police force areas – covering half the country – and ensuring that many more neighbourhood criminals have their movements tracked upon release from prison, supporting probation and the police to deter and detect further acquisitive crimes
  • trialling the use of alcohol tags – which detect alcohol in the sweat of offenders guilty of drink-fuelled crime – on prison leavers in Wales to help change behaviour and reduce violence and other alcohol related crime
  • encouraging prison leavers to turn their backs on crime by securing employment – we will hold a summit later this year to bring employers together to encourage more prison leavers to enter employment and turn their backs on crime. We will lead the way with the goal of recruiting 1,000 prison leavers into civil service roles by the end of 2023
  • empowering the police to take more knives off the streets and to prevent serious violence by permanently relaxing conditions on the use of section 60 stop and search powers
  • expanding the role for Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) – we will launch the second part of our PCC Review to equip PCCs with the tools and levers they need to drive down crime and anti-social behaviour in their local areas
  • The plan also includes new tactics and investment to deal with the problem of illegal drugs, which we know are a key driver of these crimes. The plan sits alongside the end-to-end approach on drugs the government is setting out in its response to the Dame Carol Black review.

Afsluitend

Het blijkt dat er tussen de Engelse en Nederlandse aanpak van criminaliteit in de brede zin van het woord veel overeenkomsten bestaan. Uiteraard bestaan er ook verschillen. Er valt dus te leren van bijgesloten ‘’kennisparel’’, zowel in positieve als in negatieve zin. Voor beleidsmakers binnen de Nederlandse strafrechtketen kan het ideeën genereren wat te doen en wat vooral niet te doen. Leren van de buren in dit geval.