Lessons from the Tameside police killings

By a perverse coincidence, on the same day as the two policewomen were brutally murdered at Tameside near Manchester the ECHR in Strasbourg ruled that indeterminate sentences for the protection of the public (known as IPPs) were ‘arbitrary and unlawful’.

It raises the question of what action should be taken to deal with Dale Cregan, if he is found guilty of the killing of the two police officers and perhaps also of complicity in two other killings earlier in the year – a father and son, both with a violent history. With two violent families and a simmering gang warfare imposing a reign of terror in certain Manchester neighbourhoods, at what point is it safe, after an atrocity such as that just perpetrated on Tameside, to release back into the community after a given prison sentence violent criminals who show no sign of remorse?

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