ACT fabricates claim that UK 3 Strikes for burglars reduced crime
“Jamie Whyte’s claim the UK 3 strikes legislation in 1999 has reduced burglary by 35% is a fabrication” says Kim Workman, spokesperson for Rethinking Crime and Punishment. “Since last Monday, Mr Whyte has constantly claimed a connection between the 3 strikes for burglars legislation, and the reducing crime rate.We have established that there is no evidence for it.”
“I contacted the Editorial Board of the UK Prison Service Journal, of which I am a member, and other UK criminologists and criminal justice professionals. They came back with the same response; there is no suggestion at all that the three strikes legislation has played any major part in this fall. In fact, the 3 strikes provision is applied in only 22% of all 3 strikes cases. While there has been a 35% drop in burglary in the UK since 1999, there were similar drops for car crime and other property offences, for which there is no three strikes provision.”
“As they UK experts point out, reduction in burglary and property crime Is not confined to the UK – it is a common story throughout the western world. Affordable security technology, use of CCTV, the reduced value of household appliances, the move toward a cashless society, have all contributed.”
“What did reduce UK burglary from 1999 onwards was the Burglary Prevention Initiative, which targeted communities with at least twice the average burglary rate. The Police established 55 projects, employing a range of activities such as target hardening of vulnerable premises, improved street lighting, high-visibility policing, promotion of neighbourhood/home watch, work with repeat victims. publicity campaigns/awareness raising, youth diversion initiatives and security patrols. A 2003 evaluation showed that the number of burglaries per month across the 55 projects was calculated to have fallen by 20%, compared to a fall of 13% in the comparison areas.
“If ACT is genuine about reducing the number of burglary victims, then we suggest it should focus on encouraging a more proactive policing strategy, rather than wait for people to be traumatised by a burglary experience, and then send the offender to prison (if they get caught). The chances are that the prisoner will leave with an enhanced crime skill set, and reoffend.