Violent Crime - Motion to Take Note

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:44 pm on 29th November 2018.

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Photo of Lord Harris of Haringey Lord Harris of Haringey Labour 4:44 pm, 29th November 2018

My Lords, I am grateful to all noble Lords who contributed; I know that the previous debate overran significantly. As we get older, we may all have cause to be grateful to the noble Baroness, Lady Bertin, for tweaking and developing House of Lords procedure and practice.

A number of noble Lords, including my noble friends Lady Donaghy and Lady Massey, stressed the importance of the multiagency approach. However, what we have heard today from the Minister is that, yes, she understands the importance of it. She talked about 61 commitments and actions to be followed through. Perhaps she needs to go back and ask, not just in her department but across government, who is overseeing and progress-chasing that. It is all very well to have 61 actions, but they can get lost in the miasma of the government machine unless there is someone senior and central. The point of my mentioning Tony Blair’s COBRA meetings was because he had Ministers of State and junior Ministers in the room and would say, “What’s happened since last week? I expect this to have happened by next week”—and, my goodness, it made a difference.

In conclusion, it is not a question of my saying that these things were worthy; my concern was that they were worthy in the context of being platitudinous. My point too is that they are essential. When I reviewed the tragic deaths of 87 young people in prison, the reality was that most of those need never have got into the criminal justice system had there been the appropriate interventions much earlier in their lives by the agencies of the state.

Motion agreed.

House adjourned at 4.46 pm.