Ahead of Labour’s local election campaign launch this morning, Ed Miliband has written for the Mirror, arguing that those guilty of committing acts of anti-social behaviour should be frogmarched (as the Mirror puts it) back to their victims to make amends. Ed Miliband calls this common sense policing, but some will argue that this effectively means the police are the judge and jury for certain offences. The crucial segment of the Miliband article is:
“Today, I am launching Labour’s local election campaign with a pledge that Labour councils will make it a priority to combat anti-social behaviour. But Asbos aren’t enough. We need to stop problems getting to that stage.
When people graffiti someone’s wall or vandalise their garden, there is a price paid by the victim and community. But if it is a first offence, too often it will result in a caution and nothing else. The offender may well go on to do the same thing more times.
I say let’s nip the problems in the bud. Those who do the wrong thing should be forced to make it up to the victim. Of course, it should only happen if the victim wants it to happen.”