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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 April 2005, 16:11 GMT 17:11 UK
Wales voters' panel: John Thorne on crime

MEET THE PANEL
John Thorne
Name: John Thorne
Age: 58
Lives: Neath
Works: Administration officer
Original voting intention: Plaid Cymru
In 10 words or less:
"Left-leaning, pro-European"

The most irritating thing about the campaign so far is the abuse of statistics.

This shows up most clearly when politicians talk about crime.

This or that type of crime is falling they say, but what they really mean is that "reported crime" is falling.

Unless they need a crime number for their insurance company most people have given up reporting low level crime of the sort that gradually blights neighbourhoods because they know that nothing will be done.

Even if by some chance those responsible are caught, they won't be punished.

JOHN'S PREVIOUS THOUGHTS
CPS:FACT>
Of course there is no crime in the Neverland world of Westminster.

If foul-mouthed yobs congregated in gangs outside the members tea-room things might be a little different.

We should not be deceived by Mr Howard's rant on crime either. His much hyped "border police" will draw personnel from other forces.

No new spending to detract from tax cuts that's for sure.

I'm sure there are people in all parties who recognise what's required to strike a balance between civil liberty and civil responsibility.

Unfortunately the leadership of the "main" parties don't live on the same planet as the rest of us. They seem oblivious to the existence of no-go ghettoes and blind to the drug culture.

Both "main" parties are culpable. We should accept no excuses.

Two questions for Mr Blair: 'What do we pay to police Swansea? What do we pay to police Basra?'





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