COMMENT COMMENT & ANALYSIS ANALYSIS; Politics, Comment and Analysis, Edited by Steffan Rhys

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PS4bn is spent annually on prisons and probation services in Great Britain. A third of criminals go on to re-offend and 600,000 crimes a year are committed by people with previous convictions. And in Wales, Merthyr Tydfil has the highest reoffending rate, followed closely by Cardiff. Little wonder that Justice Secretary Chris Grayling is looking to introduce 12-month supervision in the community for all those leaving prison, believing OUR VIEW more personal mentoring will reduce re-offending.

Housing and job opportunities coupled to addiction treatments are also recognised as effective ways to stop criminals becoming institutionalised into our prison system.

Some advocate that the creation of more jobs, improved social housing, a thriving economy and more bobbies on the beat would lessen the need for people to turn to crime. But a thriving economy has never returned a significant drop in crime nor has tougher sentencing been proven to be a major deterrent to reoffending.

Grayling's team of mentors are worth a punt, but it will only ever be part of a complex answer.

SIR - The Government is proposing to spend an estimated PS32bn on the HS2 high speed rail.

What needs to be done is to spend it on improving road and rail links across the whole country. The railway line to Cornwall and Pembrokeshire has seen little improvement since it was built more than 150 years ago. If you wish to travel from Fishguard to London it will take five hours. Why not reopen the line fron Whitland to Cardigan that Dr Beeching closed? Road structure is no better.

HS2 will only service the YOUR VIEW Midlands and London and would have little impact in improving the dire British economy but a national ambitious scheme would transform the nation and help distribute the wealth now in the City of London. …