Below is a statement from the director of the Prison Reform Trust Peter Dawson on the tragic events of last Friday at London Bridge. We have decided not to engage in further public debate so soon after this terrible incident.

“On Friday last week two of our colleagues at the Prison Reform Trust were attending the meeting at Fishmongers' Hall where two young lives were tragically lost. We understand the public interest in these events but our first concern is for the well-being of our workmates, which will be best served if their privacy is respected and they are given the time and space to come to terms with the traumatic events of last Friday.

“It is right that there should be a profound questioning of how the terrible events at London Bridge came about. But that will take time and detailed, dispassionate enquiry. All our experience shows us that policy decisions taken in the immediate aftermath of shocking events are likely to lead to unforeseen and unintended consequences. In criminal justice, those damaging consequences have sometimes lasted for many years, and done incalculable harm.

“At this early stage, we do not know all of the facts about Friday’s events and what led up to them. Attempting to draw conclusions in haste risks not only grave policy error, but also shows a lack of respect for those who have suffered most.

“We will continue to work with any government, as we have always done, to identify ways in which the criminal justice system can better meet all of its objectives. Those objectives include both the protection of the public and a just and proportionate response to those who cause harm, sometimes of the most terrible kind. But it is too soon to draw conclusions from the tragedy which unfolded last Friday, and we urge restraint on all those who seek to do so.”