Tag Archives: clamp

Cost-of-living crisis: Tories demand clampdown on people who steal to eat

Tory Kit Malthouse: his party has inflicted poverty on millions and now he is determined that if anybody is driven to steal food, just so they can eat, police should prosecute them with the full force of the law rather than exercise their discretion to deliver justice.

The Tory government has opened up a rift with the new Chief Inspector of Constabulary over people who steal to eat because of the cost-of-living crisis.

“The impact of poverty, and the impact of lack of opportunity for people, does lead to an increase in crime. There’s no two ways about that,” Andy Cooke, the Chief Inspector of Constabulary, said.

He said officers should use their “discretion” when deciding whether to prosecute people who steal in order to eat: “What they’ve got to bear in mind is what is the best thing for the community, and that individual, in the way they deal with those issues.”

But he insisted he was not advocating an amnesty for people who commit crimes of poverty, nor “giving a carte blanche for people to go out shoplifting”. Instead, he advised officers to make sure such matters of law enforcement are “dealt with in the best way possible”.

The Guardian found at least one police representative who agreed with this approach:

One chief constable whose area includes pockets of poverty agreed with Cooke. “There is a difference between a first-time offender who steals bread, cheese or milk to eat, and someone stealing to feed an addiction,” they said. “Police are there to help people in extreme need, that’s why we joined. We can signpost them to a food bank or help like that.”

But the Tory government takes a different view – Policing Minister Kit Malthouse wants to crack down hard on the people his party’s policies have driven into poverty.

On Thursday’s (May 19) morning interview round, he told LBC: “I wrote to chief constables just a year or so ago saying they should not be ignoring those seemingly small crimes.

“We first of all believe the law should be blind and police officers should operate without fear or favour in prosecution of the law.”

What did you expect? Tory policy has been to privatise the prison service, remember.

Perhaps they want to fill those prisons for their private business cronies.

And one more thing:

Isn’t it hypocritical for the Tories to want harsh action against people suffering as a result of their policies – but think it is hardly worth mentioning when their own leader ignores their policies in order to have a big party?

Source: Officers should use discretion over stealing to eat, says police watchdog | Police | The Guardian

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