Friday, May 18, 2007

Fisking Richard Garside

Crime is one of those issues that i have resigned myself to. I hardly ever post on the subject here, partly because it is so depressing but also because crime is generally not an endemic problem.

However, sometimes you stumble across something that is so self-serving, so morally bankrupt, so inane and so wrong, that you just can't let it go by.

Steve at the Pub Philosopher reports on a recent study by the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, an offshoot of Kings College, London, that advocates raising the age of criminal responsibility to 18 and abolishing prison sentences for all children under the age of 18.

Now i have been around long enough to have heard some utter drivel, but this really takes the biscuit. I can only assume that its authors are fortunate enough to live in a nice middle class enclave in London and not on some crime-ridden housing estate. As Steve reminds us, 40% of street robberies are carried out by children under 16. The stupidity and breathtaking irresponsibility of this proposal is highlighted by this graph from Strange Stuff.

In fact, i have done some digging on the CCJS's Director, one Richard Garside. Here are some of his finer moments,

Dickie on the causes of crime

A paper in Dec 06 by Garside concluded that crime is caused by...wait for it....

'poverty and inequality and male violence on women'.

His very practical remedy to reduce crime is to address inequality.

Dickie on 7/7

Talking in a radio interview in Aug 05

"We [must not] throw out the important gains that have been made in terms of the kind of multicultural society we have because of what's seen to be short-term political gains in terms of fighting a so-called "war on terror", which frankly I suspect is going to be a relatively short-lived phenomenon."
Another spot-on prediction, Dickie. Always beware a man who uses the phrase the "so-called war on terror".

Dickie on Hate Crimes

In fact the British Crime Survey, which bases its result on interviews with members of the public, estimates the number of racially motivated incidents to be more like 200,000 every year.

"There is underpinning that a profound amount of racism which pervades all levels of society. This isn't just white working class yobbos beating up young boys. This is actually a problem which affects society as a whole."

No Dickie - it's not just white on black violence, is it. But why let the facts get in the way of a good story.

Dickie on Crime and Women

Dickie in this paper proposes abolishing prison for women.

Sexist? Idiotic? Guaranteed to generate publicity?
Dickie's True Agenda

Garside says that the time is right for his organisation to raise its profile. Aaaah. Now the fog is clearing. He's an egotistical self-serving publicity seeker. Penny drops.

“We see our role as helping to provide the basis upon which an informed debate about crime, crime-related harm and criminal justice can take place. We are not a campaigning organisation.”

Course not Dickie.

1995/6; Campaigns officer, Campaign Against Arms Trade

1996/8; Press officer, Survival International

1998/03; Senior press officer, National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders

2003/06; Director, Crime and Society Foundation, 2003-06;

2006; Director, Centre for Crime and Justice Studies 2006

No evidence of a real job there then.

Dickie writes shit. Dickie knows he writes shit. But Dickie knows that a controversial headline -catching title like 'no prisons for children' will give him media airtime. There will always be people like Dickie around. And there's a lot worse crimes than merely loving the sight of your name in print. But why oh why has King's College London, put its name to this crock of shit?

If you'd like to share your thoughts on crime with Dickie, you can contact him on 020 7848 1679; Or on his mobile - 07989 474 610.