Priti Patel has said she wants criminals to “feel terror” at the thought of offending. In her first interview as home secretary, she pledged to get a grip on violent crime after Boris Johnson committed to recruiting 20,000 more police officers.
Se told the Daily Mail:
Quite frankly, with more police officers out there and greater police presence, I want (criminals) to literally feel terror at the thought of committing offences.
Be afraid. Be very afraid.
But as Twitter users pointed out, every single one of us should be scared by Patel’s comments:
This is basically Priti Patel saying she wants the police to be armed. And then everyone will need to be terrified, and not just criminals. https://t.co/OyHjyZ5Zji
— Nüclear Höliday 🦗 (@itchingseason) August 3, 2019
‘Home secretary Priti Patel wants criminals 'to literally feel terror'’
Great, so post-May and her #HostileEnvironment, we’re now going to be basing our policing models on the Philippines? I think most of us should feel terror at Patel as Home Sec! https://t.co/BuWiDFvOVu
— Dom Pates (@dompates) August 3, 2019
Tbh, I feel terror simply at the thought of Priti Patel. And I’ve not committed any criminal acts.
— Annoné Butler (@bookishwgc) August 3, 2019
And as the Network for Police Monitoring pointed out, there are some very real implications to what Patel is advocating:
The Home Secretary isn't actually planning anything new. Her call for "zero-tolerance policing" is rather a unsubtle message to police officers that they can step up the use of stop and search powers with impunity https://t.co/tFs0W7YqiG
— Netpol (@netpol) August 3, 2019
Support for the death penalty
Patel previously said in 2006 she was in favour of the “ultimate punishment” for the worst of crimes, and supported the death penalty during a Question Time debate on the subject in 2011.
Asked about the death penalty, she told the Mail: “I have never said I’m an active supporter of it and (what I said) is constantly taken out of context.”
But her comments on the BBC paint a slightly different picture:
I do actually think when we have a criminal justice system that continuously fails in this country and where we have seen murderers, rapists and people who have committed the most abhorrent crimes in society, go into prison and then are released from prison to go out into the community to then re-offend and do the types of crime they have committed again and again.
I think that’s appalling. And actually on that basis alone I would actually support the reintroduction of capital punishment to serve as a deterrent.
Social media users weren’t impressed with Patel’s attempt to spin her previous comments:
I watched her on question time. In a conversation about the death penalty she said she supported it. If Patel thinks this is out of context she is a liar and a coward.
— Jonathan Roberts (@TheSarcasticOwl) August 3, 2019
Patel, who supported the death penalty live on Question Time, now gaslights the whole UK by saying she didn’t. Trump level mendacity and only a taste of things to come in an administration headed by habitual liar Johnson. Our msm never calls powerful people liars: it should start https://t.co/9nm0m4ybit
— theninetypercent (@90percenters) August 3, 2019
No matter what she claims, Patel’s views on capital punishment are part of the public record. Her appointment and her comments are yet another reason why everyone one of us should be scared of Boris Johnson’s premiership. But being scared doesn’t mean being cowed. And we all need to get active and fight to get rid of this vicious nasty government.
Additional reporting by PA.
Fund our Investigations Unit
You can help us investigate corruption, expose injustice and uncover the truth.
As one of the only independent investigations units in the country, we work for you – but we need your help to keep going. We need to raise £10,000 to continue our groundbreaking investigations. Can you chip in?