Oxfordshire Liberal Democrats

John Howson's election countdown Q&A Day 12

Day 12- Q. What’s the most important to you – crime reduction or harm reduction?

Both are important and reducing harm reduces crime. One campaign I have worked on in the past, is to stop schools either excluding pupils in years 10 & 11, or convincing parents to home school these pupils. This is a perfectly legal device, but not an appropriate move in most cases, as the parents do not have the skills to fulfill the education requirements. Schools may use this to improve their examination results, but such pupils are at high risk of drifting into a life of crime.

Since the 2012 PCC elections, we have become painfully aware of the lack of appropriate strategies for helping those young people at risk of sexual exploitation. Thames Valley Police started to become aware of domestic violence and the nature of risk more than a decade ago, but the problem hasn’t been solved. The PCC can speak out in a manner police officers cannot about the need for agencies to work together to both reduce harm and reduce crime.

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