Nothing to add, really. This is just horrifying.

From today’s Guardian:

Police should be harassing badly behaved youths by openly filming them and hounding them at home to make their lives as uncomfortable as possible, the home secretary will say today.

The crime initiative is part of a government strategy to win back voters by proposing more radical approaches to tackling deep seated problems.

In a speech in London the home secretary, Jacqui Smith, will acknowledge that the number of antisocial behaviour orders being issued is falling, but will argue that there has been a shift to the use of parental orders instead.

As part of the crackdown on bad behaviour, she will urge police forces across the country to follow the example of Essex police, who have mounted four-day “frame and shame” operations by filming and repeatedly stopping identified persistent offenders on problem estates.

The programme in Essex has been successful, even though it may raise human rights issues about such tough tactics, especially if those harassed by the police have not been found guilty of any criminal offence.

Smith will say: “There is no let-up in tackling antisocial behaviour. We know that getting in early to stop troublemakers works, but I want stronger action to deal with persistent offenders. I want police and local agencies to focus on them by giving them a taste of their own medicine: daily visits, repeated warnings and relentless filming of offenders to create an environment where there is nowhere to hide.

“There can be no excuse for inaction while people still fear for the safety of the streets and estates where they live. We will do more to protect them. We all need to sharpen our resolve to tackle both the symptoms and the causes of antisocial behaviour.”

The government has been accused by the Conservatives of going soft on its previous “respect” agenda, closing down its respect unit and placing a new emphasis on youth clubs and play.

Read the whole sorry thing here.

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8 Comments

  1. Typical Labour pandering to the Daily Mail crowd. They really don’t give a fuck about cutting crime or protecting civilised values, they just want some cheap headlines. And we know now that authoritarianism is wired into their DNA, alongside moralising (cf: the repulsive Smith’s remarks on drugs).

    Although this may be hard for us to understand… they simply don’t care about liberty, or order. At all. Shameless, unprincipled twats, the lot of them.

    I’m starting to wonder if even Camoron would be better, despite the obvious objections to this.

  2. Disgusting idea….

    ‘You’ve Been Framed’ starring Jacqui Smith, taking place on council estates all other the country.

    As you can imagine, I’m so very proud of my old economics teacher…..

  3. I seem to have missed something. How will police filming anti social teenagers and putting the footage on shopping centre TV be any more shaming for them than these anti social teenagers’ own filming of happy slapping incidents and sticking it on YouTube?

  4. Your mate Polly Toynbee has an excellent article in the Grauniad today. If only she’d keep away from anything that even vaguely touched on economics or party politics, eh?

  5. This is hardly surprising.

    The lesson New Labour have drawn from their election drubbing is they’re not right wing enough. They have to show the crowing hordes of Mail and Express readers just how tough they can be, because they’re tied to a strategy that makes them think they won’t win the next election without them. At the same time it will leave their cores deeply unimpressed.

  6. One of the disgraceful things about this is that Jacqui Smith can make these pronouncements safe in the knowledge that when it all goes wrong, it won’t be her that carries the can. The Home Secretary has no powers to direct Chief Constables – it will be the local police chief who gets dragged through the courts for breach of the Human Rights Act because PC Einstein decides to harass some youth simply because he doesn’t like the look on his face (or the colour of his skin).

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