Strategy set to target UK's 5,000 'hardcore' offenders

The Prime Minister has announced plans to target a hardcore of persistent offenders – around 5,000 people who are believed to be responsible for nearly 10% of all crime.

Tony Blair said that while this is only an average of 15 or 20 people for each of the 376 Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships, they are "wreaking havoc". The main aims of the Prolific and Other Priority Offenders Strategy are to "prevent and deter, catch and convict and rehabilitate and resettle".

The Prime Minister said these offenders cost the country more than £2 billion a year.

"We are determined to tackle this small group of offenders who do so much harm. And if we have to give new powers to the police - we will do so," he said.

The new strategy, which will be rolled out in the summer, will focus efforts on offenders according to the nature and volume of the crime they commit rather than the number of times they are convicted. It will also take more account of the particular concerns of individual communities, No 10 said.

The exact criteria used to select individuals to be targeted will be drawn up in consultation with the 42 Local Criminal Justice Boards. These are made up of local chief officers of all the criminal justice agencies.

The Prime Minister also highlighted new measures that will come into force on 1 April, such as a ban on selling spray paint to under-16s and new powers for the police to issue fixed penalty notices for disorder.


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