Mayor of London Sadiq Khan says prisons shouldn’t be used as terrorist “warehouses” as longer jail terms won’t stop reoffenders like London Bridge attacker Usman Khan and Streatham maniac Sudesh Amman.
Home Secretary Priti Patel has declared “no more soft sentences” for terror crimes and parliament is rushing through emergency terror laws to stop automatically prison releases.
But Mayor Khan told City Hall: “Unfortunately about half of people who leave our prisons reoffend in a year. Why should it be any different for somebody convicted of a terror offence?
“We’ve got to make sure that we aren’t using prisons as warehouses to store people for the duration of their sentence but using our prisons and Youth Offender Institutes to rehabilitate, to reform the individual while they are in prison.
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“If we don’t we can’t really be surprised when they are released from prison they reoffend.
"That could be terrorism or that could be violent crime, sexual offences and the like and that's why we've got to invest in our prison services."
Peter Whittle, Leader of City Hall's Brexit Alliance Group, suggested a "fundamental difference" with terror convicts meant prioritising rehabilitation was wasting money.
The Mayor replied: "I've met people who previously used to be extreme far-right activists who are now helping us in relation to stopping people becoming radicalised by the far right. They have been rehabilitated and reformed, similarly with Islamic extremists as well.
“I accept it presents particular challenges on how we deradicalise somebody who has gone down that far down the path.”
Mr Khan also insisted he was not a “total failure” as he was grilled over London’s record crime rates.
Conservative group leader Susan Hall said: "The safety of Londoners is the most important job of the Mayor. If we look at your four years, it's been an absolute disaster.
"You must admit you've been a total failure."
The Mayor said: "I've been successful to persuade the government to reverse the cuts made to our city until the last few months and finally a third prime minster and some movement from this government."
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