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"Pub Ready" is a good term. Having had to host MP visits the ones that stick in your mind are the ones that could easily switch into comfortably talking to anyone. Indeed visiting an ordinary pub becomes the acid test where they either look part of the real world or embarrasingly not.

"Plenty of Tories have promised zero tolerance policing over the years. Over the next year we'll be asking Mr Grayling to show how he'll get rid of the many barriers in its way."

That is the thing we must ultimately judge Grayling on.

I fear he might spend so much time in TV studios and in the Sun that he will not do the policy graft necessary for being a successful Home Secretary.

We shall see.

This attracts good headlines, but I'm not sure this is necessarily such a good idea. Don't the statistics show a high proportion of serious crimes go unsolved? Won't this just encourage the police to concentrate on easy cases to meet targets? Unfortunately police targets currently seem to be based purely on numbers of cases resolved, not on their difficulty or seriousness.

Umbrella man's point applies to the whole shadow cabinet. The next election is won but our frontbench aren't ready to be masters of Whitehall departments.

Agree with Umbrella man and Alan S. It's more important that our team is 'red box-ready' than pub-ready.

"there are growing fears of a "credit crunch crime wave" as people falling on harder times engage in more "acquisitive crimes"."

No doubt the Left will be calling for us to "understand" these people - it isn't their fault, it's poverty etc.

Poverty is no excuse for crime, we must crush these people without mercy.

Zero tollerance of anything is bad, especially when targets are involved.

They just go for the low level stuff and comparatively innocent people get dragged into being a labelled criminal which they then think they might as well take up the role they've been given.

It creates the wrong image of the police as being autonomous punishers the moment you step over their mark.

But as he doesn't actually say "zero tollerance" in the article, it's all good.

Zero tolerance is fine, so long as you have the resources to back it up, and the law has been set sensibly in the first place.

New Labour's expansion of criminal offences (3,600+ in a decade) and a massively complex legislative regime will simply turn otherwise law-abiding people into criminals.

Sometimes the simplest approaches are best. What about rewarding local communities who want to operate neighbourhood watch schemes with real teeth? Or deporting criminals like Rumanian cashpoint fraudsters who should really have no right to be in Britain?

Most people don't want zero tolerance, which is an American method of policing.

They want their local British bobbies back: coppers with a sound mind, in good health and with a solid moral compass who can give you the time of day, clip wrongdoers round the ear and then disappear on his bicycle.

Seriously though - let's not make the police more authoritarian than Labour has already made them. Let's have common sense policing back.

It makes a good sound bite but its not a deliverable promise. As it is the law is only enforced for a minority of crime as most are never solved. Are we really going to support a crack down on litter louts etc. Diverting resources away from tackling serious criminality? I also agree with those who have pointed out the very large number of ridiculous offences that Labour has added to the statute books. Short of locking up 75% of the population there is no possibility of prosecuting every single offence.

"Are we really going to support a crack down on litter louts etc. Diverting resources away from tackling serious criminality?"

This is EXACTLY the argument Giuliani's opponents made in NYC. When people feel that it is the law-abiding rather than the criminals who own the streets, ALL crimes goes down.

When I practiced criminal law I recall a particular young man who got into taking motorcycles: all the time he was under the age for incarceration he would abscond from the children's home steal a motorbike and be away before the escort who took him back had arrived home themeslves. He told me clearly that this would stop once he reached the age where he could be sent to a secure institution. It did, and this illustrates the fact that many young criminals know the line and push right to it. Enforce firmly early and everyone including the potential recidivist benefits

Generally speaking, tougher measures to tackle crime are something which the public are crying out for. Some of the recent statistics do not make encouraging reading, particularly in regard to burglary, offences involving knives and drugs.

At least one person mentioned "commonsense Policing", amongst the previous comments. In reality, this is certainly compatible with a zero tolerance approach. And of course, most people would welcome more Police patrols on our streets.

I would also like to see more targeted use of CCTV cameras. But, not just in relation to the need for greater civil liberties. Such technology can reduce the onus on some individuals to report crime, as well as displacing criminality in certain areas.

Within a two year period my dad got pulled over by a police car three times. One time was while he was out shopping on a Saturday with his girlfriend and my teenage sister. The police had him leave his own car and sit in the back of the police car while people in the street watched. The police checked his number plate on their computer and realised that nothing was wrong and let him go about his day. He drives a Ford family sized car. There's nothing suspicious about it. My dad works hard shifts in a power station and has worked hard all his life. He was out shopping for his family, taking care of them like a real man should. He's a normal guy with no criminal record or anything. He was just out shopping. The other two times it happened were in similar circumstances. The police are a joke. That's got to change.

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