Nacro, the crime reduction charity, has welcomed the interim report on the summer’s riots, published today by the Riots Communities and Victims Panel, but warned that those convicted of involvement may not be receiving the support, guidance or incentive to stop offending.
Speaking today, Graham Beech, director at Nacro, said:
‘Today’s interim report highlights the complex causes of the rioting and civil disorder which we saw this summer. What is and always has been clear is that the riots emphasise the need for a genuine and sustained commitment to reducing offending.
‘In order to make sure that this doesn’t happen again we need to put the right balance of measures in place. Yes, we need to ensure that the police are equipped to enforce the law, prevent violence and restore order. But we must also intervene with those who are convicted while they are in prison and when they get out.
‘The danger is that those people who were convicted of involvement in the riots will not have altered their attitudes or behaviour when they are released from prison. Short-term prison sentences strip people of responsibility without challenging their thinking or their behaviour. The big question is, when they return home – without supervision, without being challenged, without a focus on victims – what will be done to change their attitudes to crime and prevent this from happening again?
‘We need to change the way offenders think, change the way they behave and ensure that they put something positive back into their communities. We must engage, not only with those who were involved but also with those who are at risk of getting involved in future disorder on our streets. This means investing in measures which get in there early and target the most at-risk young people in order to steer them away from crime. By the time they go out on the streets to cause trouble it can be too late.
‘Nacro will be making these points in our response to the interim report and awaits the panel’s final recommendations with great interest.’