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‘Overwhelming support’ for Patel’s bid for criminals to ‘feel terror’

The Home Secretary has signalled a tough stance on crime since taking office.

File photo dated 26/07/19 of Home Secretary Priti Patel, who has said she wants criminals to “feel terror” at the thought of offending, as she distanced herself from her comments in support of the death penalty.
File photo dated 26/07/19 of Home Secretary Priti Patel, who has said she wants criminals to “feel terror” at the thought of offending, as she distanced herself from her comments in support of the death penalty.

Most people back the new Home Secretary in wanting criminals to “feel terror” at the thought of breaking the law, a poll suggests.

Some 72% of British adults agreed with Priti Patel’s statement made in her first interview since taking on the role, according to a YouGov survey.

Some 3,993 people were asked “Generally speaking, would you want criminals to feel terror at the thought of committing offences, or not?” in a poll on Monday. Just 11% said they would not.

The results showed “overwhelming support of her statement”, YouGov said.

Ms Patel’s comments in the Daily Mail came as she distanced herself from her comments in support of the death penalty.

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Priti Patel has taken the helm at the Home Office (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

In the interview she pledged to get a grip on violent crime after Boris Johnson committed to recruiting 20,000 more police officers.

“I’ve always felt the Conservative Party is the party of the police and police officers,” she 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.”

Ms 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.”

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