The Rt. Hon. Sir John Major KG CH

Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 1990-1997

1994Prime Minister (1990-1997)

Mr Major’s Speech at Crimestoppers Lunch – 7 January 1994

Below is the Conservative Central Office Press Release following John Major’s speech to the Crimestoppers Lunch on Friday 7th January 1994.


Press Release

The Prime Minister today re-iterated the Government’s commitment to the fight against crime and spoke of the part everyone can play in aiding the police.

The Prime Minister said:

“The fight against crime lies at the heart both of our Back to Basics campaign and our legislative programme. Next Tuesday we will have the Second Reading of the Criminal Justice Bill. It will:

– crack down on juvenile offenders;

– curb the abuse of the right of silence;

– curb the abuse of bail;

– give new powers to the police to take samples for DNA testing;

– bring in new powers to help the police in the fight against terrorism;

– crack down on squatters, ravers and new age travellers;

– tighten the law against child pornography

I am sure that it will have the support of all those in the country who want to step up the fight against crime – and I hope it has the support of all political parties in the House of Commons.

I believe the climate is changing – changing against crime. People have had enough of some people seeming to put the criminal first and the victim second. They have had enough of airy-fairy theories. And I think they have probably had enough of some young offenders being sent around the world at the taxpayers’ expense.

It flies in the face of commonsense that you cut crime by appearing to reward those who have committed criminal acts. I want to see punishments fitting the crime – and we need to have greater consistency across the country. That is why Michael Howard has brought forward his review of national standards of community sentences – and you can expect to see tougher guidelines emerging when those are published later this year. Just one more step in our Back to Basics campaign – one more notch upwards of the relentless pressure that we are bringing to bear against criminals and crime.

People are coming increasingly to realise that this is a job for all of us – and not just something that we should leave the police to cope with on their own. We can help in our own homes by bringing our children up to know the difference between right and wrong. In our schools by tightening up on discipline and cracking down on truancy. And there are many ways in which individual citizens can help – as Specials, as Parish Constables, in a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme or simply by getting involved with initiatives like Crimestoppers.

By working together we can fight crime. I simply refuse to accept that there is nothing that can be done about crime. That there is some iron law which says that it will always go up. That all we can do is shake our heads and blame it on society. The fact is that initiatives like Crimestoppers show that we can do something. Crimestoppers has meant that more crimes have been cleared up. That more criminals have been arrested. That more stolen property has been recovered. That is all good, solid progress in the crusade against crime. And it shows that the defeatists, the shoulder-shruggers are wrong.”