Crime and community safety

The Conservatives have always been strong on crime and I will make sure that by working alongside the local police we will drive down the crime figures here in Lewisham.

Clearly the police take the leading role in the detection of crime but there is plenty that the Mayor and council can do to help stop crime at source. “Designing out” means creating a local environment that deters crime and helps people feel safe and secure.

A zero tolerance of graffiti, abandoned cars and fly tipping will help to create the feeling that crime and antisocial behaviour is not accepted. Broken windows, empty houses and boarded up shops gives the opposite impression and I will ensure that the number of failed streetlights in the borough is dramatically cut, and that poorly lit areas get extra lighting.

I applaud the “I love Lewisham” campaign and will continue to push for even speedier responses to graffiti cleaning. I will expand the scheme to cover abandoned cars and acts of vandalism. While supporting the use of Community Support Officers I will continue to push for greater numbers of real police officers out on the beat interacting with their local communities and helping to prevent crime.

People often tell me that they feel threatened by the “gangs” of young people hanging around. I make a point of speaking to these “gangs” whenever I can and in the vast majority of cases they are good kids, if a little noisy. Treating these kids like criminals will actually help turn them into criminals.

What I propose is that by working with community groups, faith groups, charities and schools we find more activities for these kids and ensure that they stay out of trouble. This will allow us to focus on the much smaller number really badly behaved youngsters and turn them around.
The police, the Mayor, the council and the community working together can beat crime. Under the last Conservative government crime rates fell and we can do the same here in Lewisham.

6 responses to “Crime and community safety

  1. Why fall into the trap of calling young people kids. Call them animals and they will act like animals. Call them children/young people and they will act as we would like them to act

  2. Why fall into the trap of calling young people kids. Call them animals and they will act like animals. Call them children/young people and they will act as we would like them to act

  3. Interesting point JD. I always used to listen to a certain London Radio Dj who argued that calling them young people/young adults almost gives them some level of respect they haven’t yet earned. He argued that being referred to as kids/children meant they “knew their place” and worked harder to be recognised as an adult/young adult. Now, I’m sitting on the fence on this one 😉 I think, like most subjects, that it’s not quite so black and white. I imagine certain individuals respond differently to different labels or titles. Anyway, just thought I’d mention it to add to the debate.

  4. Interesting point JD. I always used to listen to a certain London Radio Dj who argued that calling them young people/young adults almost gives them some level of respect they haven’t yet earned. He argued that being referred to as kids/children meant they “knew their place” and worked harder to be recognised as an adult/young adult. Now, I’m sitting on the fence on this one 😉 I think, like most subjects, that it’s not quite so black and white. I imagine certain individuals respond differently to different labels or titles. Anyway, just thought I’d mention it to add to the debate.

  5. Perhaps you are right, the terms used to describe people sometimes have an effect on their behaviour. That said I do feel there are a number of factors which have a greater influence.An under performing state education system with an “all must have prizes” mind set has a large part to play. Young people are very good at sniffing out hypocrisy and flannel and for many the “no losers” mantra actually translates into no winners either.The government is also sending out some very mixed messages about respect and responsibility and the concerted effort to undermine the importance of parents and the wider family has clearly been a failed experiment.

  6. Perhaps you are right, the terms used to describe people sometimes have an effect on their behaviour. That said I do feel there are a number of factors which have a greater influence.An under performing state education system with an “all must have prizes” mind set has a large part to play. Young people are very good at sniffing out hypocrisy and flannel and for many the “no losers” mantra actually translates into no winners either.The government is also sending out some very mixed messages about respect and responsibility and the concerted effort to undermine the importance of parents and the wider family has clearly been a failed experiment.

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