Opposition Day — [12th Allotted Day]
Christopher Huhne (Eastleigh, Liberal Democrat)
The hon. Gentleman assumes that if something does not work, it will begin to work if there is twice as much of it. A much more common-sense approach is to assume that, if a short sentence given to a young man leads to a 92 per cent. reoffending rate, it would be better to try alternatives, particularly since short sentences are given for relatively trivial offences. There was one thing that I entirely agreed with in the speech by the hon. Member for Epsom and Ewell, which was his point about the need to head young people off—young men in particular—and stop them getting involved in a life of crime.