THE HOME Secretary at the time of the 9/11 atrocity today warns that the tougher sentences planned by the Government in the wake of the Streatham terror attack will not make Britain’s streets safer.
David Blunkett, now a Labour peer, says tackling radicalisation should be the number one priority – and he questions the legality of new laws that could change, retrospectively, the sentence served by convicted terrorists.
His intervention comes at the end of a week dominated by the political – and legal – fallout – following last Sunday’s incident in Streatham when convicted terrorist Sudesh Amman stabbed – and injured – two people before being shot dead by armed police.
Anman, 20, was already under police surveillance after being released from custody on January 23. He had been jailed for three years and four months in December 2018 for possessing and distributing terrorist documents.
But, writing in The Yorkshire Post, Lord Blunkett questions Ministers who want new laws passed by the end of the month in view, they say, of the seriousness of the threat to public safety.
“Difficult as it is, spotting and reporting signs of radicalisation matters more than anything else, and which is why schools, colleges and other public bodies currently have a duty to respond,” says the former Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough MP.
And amid warnings that jihadists are being radicalised in Britain’s prisons, Lord Blunkett adds: “Yes, longer sentences might delay their release but eventually the terrorists emerge.
“In the end, however, it is not bellicose pronouncements, but careful lessons learned, expensive but vital intelligence work, and the co-operation of all of us which will go some way to rooting out the bad and the evil, the sad and the susceptible. “