Cameron's fight back on crime

David Cameron tried to draw a line under the controversy surrounding his former Chief Whip with his first major speech on crime. The Prime Minister said he wants long sentences for the worst criminals and rehabilitation and education for others.

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PM: Firing Mitchell would have been easy but not right

by - Deputy Political Editor

I asked the Prime Minister why Andrew Mitchell kept his job for so long.

"It's the easiest thing in the world if you're Prime Minister just to fire someone as soon as something goes wrong," he said.

"But that's not the right way to behave as Prime Minister. He did something that was wrong, he needed to apologise, he did apologise."

He said Mr Mitchell had resigned when it became clear that he would not be able to continue as an effective Chief Whip.

"The time it takes might be uncomfortable and difficult for politicians and governments...but in the end, government is about doing the right thing, making the right decision, not just making the easy decision," he said.

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Hoodies still need to be hugged, justice campaigners say

David Cameron will later use his first major speech on crime since the coalition came to power in 2010 to distance himself from ever urging the public to "hug a hoodie".

Vicki Helyar-Cardwell, director of the Criminal Justice Alliance, praised the Tory leader's 2006 speech - from which the sometimes derided "hoodie phrase" emerged - for recognising that criminal and social justice were inextricably linked. But she said:

Several years on, the criminal justice system still often picks up the pieces when others have failed. The high levels of children in care who end up in our youth justice system are a telling example of this.

Looking ahead to the Prime Minister's speech, in which he will urge for a "tough, but intelligent" approach to justice, Ms Helyar-Cardwell warned of rising crime costs and said:

The danger is the intelligent bit gets lost at the expense of sounding tough. ... Making governors more accountable for what happens after prison is welcome, but this will backfire without efforts to curb huge prison overcrowding that blights much of the positive work in prisons.

Different approach needed to cut crime, Grayling says

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling, who was appointed by David Cameron to replace Ken Clarke in last month's reshuffle, has said fresh action is essential to cut the rates of reoffending.

The reality at the moment, all too often, is that we release somebody on to the streets with £46 in their pocket - relatively little, if any, support.

We have to do this differently. We have got people coming back out onto the streets after prison who are as likely to reoffend again as not to reoffend. We have got to do things differently.

The benefit of a payment-by-results system is it forces the organisations working with you to look for what really does work because they don't get paid unless they do.

– Chris Grayling, speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme

Report: Government 'cannot afford' PM's crime pledges

David Cameron
The PM will pledge to take "tough, but intelligent" action to fight crime. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

David Cameron's plans on crime and justice are undermined by a lack of money, The Guardian has reported.

The newspaper said aides "admitted there would be no additional money to pay for either more prisoners or for extending rehabilitation to more offenders."

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