Father of Jack Merritt calls for deradicalisation programmes
David Merritt has warned that the government is failing to do its job to keep the public safe and claimed that Boris Johnson’s plans to force through emergency terrorist sentencing is ‘a hasty measure' that 'could be counter-productive’.
David’s son Jack was killed in the London Bridge terror attack in November. Following the more recent incident in Streatham, the government announced plans to rush through emergency legislation that would prevent the release of terrorist offenders without parole board-risk assessments.
Speaking to the Observer, David Merritt was wearied but unsurprised by the government’s ‘panicky response’ and echoed his sons beliefs that urgent and proper funding into prison services to prevent further attacks was necessary to improve public safety.
He said: “Keeping people in prison for longer in itself doesn’t keep anybody safe. It just means [the government] is kicking the can further down the road: spewing people out further down the line when they’ve been associating with other people of like minds, convincing each other of their radicalisation, that’s obviously not a good thing unless they have received real help to change their ways and there are effective deradicalisation programmes. As it is, from the reports of most prisons, we already know prisoners are locked up for 23 hours a day and there is very little in the way of education and rehabilitation. The resources are not there.”