Boss of High Street key cutters Timpson believes Boris should hire not humiliate offenders
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I rather warmed to Boris Johnson’s idea of a putting thugs into a kind of hi-viz chain gang so the locals could see them pay for their crimes.
I believe that these nasty, often violent, young men (they are mainly men) aren’t pilloried enough for their actions. Now local papers have basically gone bust they don’t even have the ignominy of their families seeing their name in print. They laugh at us and laugh at the law.
But there is another view and the man advocating hiring not humiliating is worth listening to.
He is James Timpson, the boss of the high street shoe repair and locksmithing firm Timpson. It’s a very successful business with a turnover last year of £209million.
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He says hiring ex-offenders makes good business sense because “the people we recruit from jails are so bloody good.”
Since 2008 when he opened a shoe repair shop in HMP Liverpool (you will be pleased to learn key cutting skills were not practised then) his company has employed 1,500 ex-prisoners.
Just four have returned to jail. Many of those who turned their backs on crime-including some with drugs and alcohol issues-have progressed to senior roles in the company, including a current board member.
A tweet from James explaining the alternative to the Boris plan hi-viz got 130,000 likes and 23,500 likes.
James is no lefty. He says of himself that he is “the most commercially minded person you will ever meet.” And his brother Edward is the Tory MP for Eddisbury in Cheshire.
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He knows a lot about the root causes of crime as his parents successfully fostered 92 children, many from within the care system, who had emotional and educational needs.
He makes a good point about his customers.
He says; “While we may have customers who choose not give us their custom due to our employees I think we have more people coming to us because of what we do rather than avoid us for it.”
Nicely put. I am one of them.
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