AFP, Dec. 24, 2006
Britain is set to witness a rise in crime rates and a big jump in the prison population, according to a leaked confidential Downing Street memo.
The document, drawn up by Prime Minister Tony Blair’s Strategy Unit, warned that a slowdown in economic growth was set to trigger a rise in crime rates for the first time in 12 years, according to the Sunday Times newspaper.
The report suggested the government should consider methods used abroad to combat crime, such as enforced heroin vaccinations, alcohol rationing, a ban on alcohol advertising, “chemical castration” for sex offenders, identity chip implants, the public shaming of offenders and the use of bounty hunters.
One chart in the document suggested that the prison population was expected to rise by 25 percent in the next five years from 80,000 to more than 100,000 — far exceeding the prison places the government has planned for, suggesting that ministers will have to consider alternatives.
The report said that nine out of 10 crimes were either not responded to or went unpunished, and half of all the crimes in England and Wales were committed by a hardcore of about 100,000 people.
It also made controversial observations about tensions between different ethnic groups in Britain.
Illegal immigration “presents the greatest challenge for cohesion . . . with clandestine entrants (e.g. on the back of a lorry) presenting greater challenges than overstayers.”
It went on: “There is concern about particular groups, e.g. Afro-Caribbean boys. More recently, there has been concern about Pakistani youths, who suffer disproportionately high unemployment, feel increasingly discriminated against, and disconnect from their parents.”
A spokesman for Blair’s Downing Street office said they did not comment on leaked reports.