Law and Order in a Civilised Society

That was the title of a pamphlet which I researched when I worked for Emlyn Hooson QC MP (now Lord Hooson) back in the 1970s.  Emlyn had been a top flight barrister, whose cases had included the Moors murders.  He always said that this scarring experience convinced him that some people were born with original sin, and he always felt that the tapes which played such a grisly role in the trial should have been released to the public much earlier.


We advocated then that the Home Office should be broken up with a Ministry of Justice looking after law and prisons. I think it is good to see that Tony Blair has dusted down our pamphlet after nearly 30 years and is putting this recommendation into action... I just worry that the detail will be skimped so that it can become part of the Blair "legacy" - his record in other departmental reforms shows that he tends to rush into decisions without considering all the consequences. 

I do hope he gets this one right. Meanswhile we are continuing our crime survey in St Albans and the villages. The results are fascinating in terms of people's actual experience locally of crime and anti-social behaviour, as well as their views on sentencing and prisons and on what should be the priorities for the police locally. 

We will share the results with the Hertfordshire Police and also compare them with responses to the same survey from up and down the UK. There is so much tabloid rant about crime and anti-social behaviour that it is really useful to get direct experience and feedback. Watch this space for the results. Please contact me if you would like to take part and we have not yet been down your street.

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