With recent reports stating that almost three quarters of those charged with offences during the London riots had prior convictions, attention has turned to Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke’s description of Britain’s “broken penal system”. Johann Koehler, from the Institute of Criminology, discusses some of the latest projects to reduce reoffending, and how politicians may have to risk the ‘soft on crime’ label to move forward.
Greater Manchester Police are to field test a new Cambridge University initiative to cut crime by focusing police officers on "pressure points" known for their high level of offending.
Finding the best routes to predicting, preventing and atoning for crime is a thorny issue. Experimental criminologists such as Lawrence Sherman, recently appointed as the fourth Wolfson Professor at the University of Cambridge Institute of Criminology, see randomised field trials as the shortest path to discovering the answers.