POLITICS: Crime and Punishment Review Pledge by Brown

The Birmingham Post (England), June 20, 2007 | Go to article overview

POLITICS: Crime and Punishment Review Pledge by Brown


Prime minister-in-waiting Gordon Brown pledged a host of new crime and punishment measures yesterday including drug education for the under-10s.

He promised a "radical review" of anti-drugs policies and promised to look at giving judges the power to hand tougher sentences to violent criminals who strike on public transport.

Mr Brown told the annual conference of the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) that Ministers needed to take a fresh look at use of on-the-spot fines, or "fixed penalty notices" - a system which has been repeatedly championed by current PM Tony Blair.

"It is now time for a radical review of our anti-drugs strategy," Mr Brown said. "Drug education needs to reach children at an earlier age, in primary schools as well as secondary schools.

"A new anti-drug strategy will need to include every section of society and role models from all walks of life - including sport, music and business - to persuade people that drugs are not the answer but the problem."

Government sources said plans to make violent crime on public transport an aggravating factor in sentencing, leading to stiffer punishments, may need to go to consultation with experts in the criminal justice system.

It was understood officials have not yet attempted to define where an act would have to take place to attract a tougher sentence - for example, whether it would involve bus stops as well as train stations.

In a speech in Manchester, Mr Brown, who takes over from Mr Blair on June 27, said police should also play a role inside more schools to help teachers keep pupils out of trouble. …

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