Alex Easton has called for the fight against crime to be at the top of the political agenda.

Speaking today he said:

“I firmly believe that the fight against crime should be at the top of the political agenda. The fear and consequences of crime and Anti Social behaviour destroy the lives of many people in Northern Ireland. Indeed many of the most vulnerable groups in society suffer from the fear, as well as the reality, of crime. We can’t afford to sit back and allow the rising tide of crime and lawlessness to engulf society and leave people fearful in their homes. The battle against crime is a battle that we can not afford to lose.

It has been demonstrated elsewhere in the world that ever rising rates of crime are not inevitable and, with the right action, can be effectively dealt with. It is not, however an easy challenge to meet. There are no simple answers and no guaranties of success. It will be won by the authorities alone, but by society coming together to stamp it out. It is why I am calling for the following measures to help deal with overall crime and Anti Social behavior

  1. The expansion of the current Anti-Social Behavior teams at local Council level to help with Police to deal with Anti Social Behavior this idea of mine is already in action in North Down
  2. Tougher sentences for serious crime
  3. Better protection of the most vulnerable in our society
  4. Mandatory sentences for repeat offenders
  5. Delivering justice for the victims of crime
  6. Taking the fight to organized crime
  7. Delivering a legal system to meet the changing needs of the public
  8. Quicker process in delivering court cases
  9. More Police Officers on the beat
  10. Delivery of an extra 500 police officers

I believe that with these measures in the fight against crime the battle is against an ever moving target. Answers will not always be easy and no solution will fit all problems. But a partnership between society and the state can assist in delivering a better society. The criminal justice system in Northern Ireland needs both the power to deal with crime and a willingness to do so; ultimately we want to see a society which is free from the fear of crime.