The Project for Modern Democracy convened a seminar on urban violence last week, in which leading policy makers and senior practitioners explored the potential drivers of rising crime and sought to address some of the questions we posed earlier this month.
Violent crime is now rising in many parts of England and Wales with significant upticks in urban areas in the last two years that reflect a genuine increase in offences, rather than changes in recording practices or more reporting by victims. In response, politicians (and some senior police officers) have leapt to conclusions about what is responsible, and what should be done. But the truth of where we are is harder to acknowledge.
The case of John Worboys has thrown a spotlight on how parole decisions are reached, and a new panel must now assemble to consider his application after the High Court blocked an earlier decision to release him after a judicial review – the first time in England that this has happened. In response, the Justice Secretary made a statement to Parliament outlining a series of steps he intends to take to change the parole process, and to do so quickly.