David Cameron responds to Pilkington tragedy: "Everything will be done differently by a Conservative government"
The story of the Pilkingtons is devastating. Please watch the video above and I defy you not to be both angry and moved. This is today's Daily Mail report:
"Police and council officials faced a barrage of criticism today after failing to act against a gang who drove a mother to kill herself and her disabled daughter... The inquest heard that yobs taunted Miss Pilkington and heaped abuse on her daughter, who had a mental age of four. They trampled the family's hedge, hurled stones and eggs at the windows, shoved dog excrement and fireworks through the letterbox, screamed obscenities and threatened Miss Pilkington's dyslexic son Anthony with a knife. Yet despite receiving 33 desperate 999 calls in ten years, police dismissed Miss Pilkington as 'over-reacting' and classed her as 'low priority'. Unable to bear the torment any more, she decided death was her only escape, and she killed herself and her daughter by setting fire to their car near their home in Barwell, Leicestershire, in October 2007."
On Sky TV earlier, David Cameron was asked to comment on the deaths of Fiona Pilkington and her daughter. This is what he said (transcript from CCHQ):
“This is an absolutely horrific case and clearly the police have got questions to answer and the council has questions to answer. But also we have had a decade of a Labour Government telling us about anti social behaviour legislation and instructions and orders to the police and it just isn’t working. We’ve got to get rid of the police paperwork, we’ve got to get them back on the streets, we’ve got to make them feel empowered to intervene and clear these people off the streets and make them accountable locally so there are consequences if they don’t deliver.”
Q: How important is anti social behaviour?
“It is the most important thing. If you go round our towns and cities people are complaining about anti social behaviour, low level crime and levels of violence. That needs to be dealt with by the police. The problem is that this Government has wrapped them up in paperwork, in red tape, in bureaucracy. They hardly spend any time on the streets, they are spending all their time at their desks filling in orders from the Home Office when they should be accountable locally. That paperwork should be torn up in order to empower them and to make them feel that they are meant be on the streets clearing these people off the streets. That’s what they would get from a Conservative government and they’re not getting it from Labour. We would do everything differently. You’ve got to start with families, we believe you’ve got to strengthen families, you’ve got to support families, you’ve got to back marriage including in the tax system, you’ve got to do more to deal with the problems of welfare, you’ve got to have better discipline in schools. This goes all the way from the family through to the school through to the welfare system. All of that needs to change, everything will be done differently by a Conservative government.”