This week Team Nice quizzed Liberal Democrat Councillor Simon Carter of Lewisham Borough Council. The topic ran to antisocial behaviour and whether our solutions are up to scratch.
What got you interested in politics, and what made you get involved in the liberal democrat party and why?
I got involved in Politics because I wanted to make a difference. A cliché maybe but true. I got involved with the Lib Dems after doing research for a departmental magazine article. I come from a Labour household, but researching the article and seeing the facts made me realise they weren't delivering on their rhetoric. For instance, it's important to me that factors outside of your control, like your skin colour or where you are born, do not change the way you are treated or the opportunities you have. Yet under this government, inequality has actually widened…
What are your personal thoughts on anti social culture – do you think that we are getting worse as a society?
There is a big issue with the way in which we deal with those committing antisocial and criminal acts, which certainly does not make our society any safer. Currently those who enter the criminal justice system are far more than likely to return to a life of crime on leaving. Re-offending rates are extremely high, especially in comparison with other western societies, with two thirds of prisoners on average re-offending.
The younger the prisoner, the more likely they are to commit a crime on leaving the criminal youth justice system, with re-offending rates rising to as high as 80%...
Why do you think this is?
This issue has been ignored by the Labour Government over the last decade. We really need to start looking seriously at rehabilitation and other alternatives to the short term prison sentences which just serve to make criminals better criminals. There is no justice for the victims of crime if the criminals continue to commit criminal acts after having served their sentences. A fairer, more just and safer society can be had if the political will is found to reform the Justice system.
This week’s niceness
…comes in the form of the complimentary flapjack – yes a flapjack that is given to someone as a compliment. 5 complimentary flapjacks were given out this week.
By Liz Akers and Peter Muriuki