20 ways to fight crime?

Louise Casey has put forward drastic proposals to improve our justice system – but are they too radical?

Online maps showing crime hot spots, high visibility bibs for criminals doing community punishment and Friday night youth clubs in deprived areas were proposed yesterday as part of a drive to rebuild confidence in the criminal justice system.

Louise Casey, the outspoken former head of the Government's Respect task force, will spearhead the initiative – an appointment likely to send a shudder through the criminal justice system. Ms Casey once mocked the Government's anti-binge drinking campaign by saying that some ministers might perform better if they turned up drunk.

She warned yesterday that people did not believe official figures showing crime was falling and thought the system favoured offenders. She said: "There was a strong view during the review that they would no longer intervene if they saw a crime taking place, for fear that they would either be attacked by the perpetrators or arrested themselves."

Ms Casey set out initiatives to re-engage the public, including forcing people on community sentences to wear bibs.

However, Harry Fletcher, the assistant general secretary of the National Association of Probation Officers, said that bibs would humiliate rather than rehabilitate offenders.

1. Anonymous evidence Elderly and disabled crime victims – as well as people at risk of reprisals – should be allowed to give evidence in court from behind screens. Ministers are sympathetic to the idea, which already happens routinely in cases involving sex offences and gangs.

Controversy: *

2. Rebrand community service Community sentences should be renamed "community payback" to emphase that not jailing people is still a punishment. Could happen, but would the public notice?

Controversy: *

3. Make offenders visible Offenders should wear high-visibility orange bibs to make community payback schemes "more visible" to the general public and more "demanding" on criminals. Ministers support the idea in principle, but critics say it would humiliate offenders undergoing rehabilitation.

Controversy: *****

4. Internet crime maps Online maps with crimes plotted on them to be published every month so people can see how dangerous their area is and how well the police are doing. Gordon Brown has backed the move in principle, but areas could be stigmatised if the maps are street-by-street.

Controversy: ***

5. More power for CSOs Police community support officers should be able to detain people for up to 30 minutes and hand out fixed-penalty notices for disorder. The idea is strongly opposed by the police and the last thing the Home Office wants is another run-in with them.

Controversy: ****

6. Youth clubs Friday-night youth clubs to be set up in 50 of the most deprived areas. Funding for youth services is already being boosted with poorer communities targeted. But should high-crime areas be rewarded?

Controversy: **

7. Work for offenders Unemployed offenders should work five days a week on community payback, with those in work forced to work in the evenings and at weekends.

Would be hugely expensive and stretch the probation service to breaking-point.

Controversy: ****

8. Extra hours if orders breached Offenders who breach their orders should be given extra hours as punishment. Would put pressure on resources.

Controversy: ***

9. Privatise community service Private firms should be given powers to run community sentences. Would be fiercely opposed by the Probation Service and likely to be resisted by ministers because of the political fallout.

Controversy: ****

10. Monthly leaflets All homes should receive monthly leaflets telling them what action against crime is being taken in their area as well as contact numbers for local police. The Home Office backs closer links between the police and public, but officers see it as more bureaucracy.

Controversy: **

11. Cash for high-crime areas The Government should give cash direct to communities hit by crime. This already happens to a certain extent – the money central government gives to local authorities depends on how well off they are.

Controversy: *

12. Separate seats for victims Victims' families should have separate seats in court. Already happens in many courts and looks a certainty.

Controversy: *

13. Cut bureaucracy A fresh drive against the police paperwork that keeps officers off the beat to be spearheaded by a senior officer assigned to the Home Office. Everyone wants less red tape, but ministers won't want anyone breathing down their necks.

Controversy: **

14. Independent statistics Home Office should lose responsibility for producing national crime statistics, with the job given to an independent body. The department has cooled on the idea.

Controversy: ***

15. Courts to name and shame Courts should provide much more information about convictions and sentences given to offenders. Critics believe "naming and shaming" offenders doesn't help their rehab.

Controversy: ***

16. Community crime-fighters A "community crime fighters" squad should be set up to involve the public. The Home Office backs the plan.

Controversy: *

17. Cash for successful groups Community groups that succeed in tackling crime and antisocial behaviour should be awarded public money. Government is in favour.

Controversy: *

18. 'Voice of the people' Appoint a "voice of the people" to champion voters' crime fears in Whitehall. Ministers insist they are already in tune with their constituents.

Controversy: ***

19. Scrap police targets Whitehall police targets should be replaced with a less rigid "measure of public confidence". Unlikely – PM was a supporter of targets.

Controversy: ****

20. Parental responsibility Drum home message that parents who allow children to run wild will be punished. Government is already campaigning hard on this.

Controversy: *

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Lou Reed distorted the truth about his upbringing, and since his death in 2013, biographers and memoirists have added to the myths
musicThe truth about Lou Reed's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths
Ed Miliband received a warm welcome in Chester
election 2015
Life and Style
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch during an Apple special even
fashionIs the Apple Watch for you? Well, it depends if you want it for the fitness tech, or for the style
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own