A leading criminal defence attorney has warned how an extended Government shutdown could result in an increase in crime across America.
John P. Contini, a highly-respected Florida criminal defence attorney with over 25 years’ experience, claims an extended Government shutdown will have an ‘unintended impact’ of increasing crime.
The US Government is currently on its first shutdown in 17 years after the two houses of Congress failed to agree on a new budget. Around 700,000 of the Government’s total workforce have been sent home, putting extra strain on many departments, but essential functions such as law enforcement are expected to continue unaffected.
However, according to the legal expert, a continued shutdown could result in a rise in crime as criminals look to prosper from areas in which cutbacks have been experienced. He claims Americans can expect to see incidents of fraud – including tax fraud, mortgage fraud and bank fraud – and identity theft on the increase.
Contini said: “There is going to be even less Government oversight and less law enforcement involvement, let alone the pursuit of the fast growing number of criminals.
“Unfortunately, this isn’t just a political battle between President Obama and the Republican leadership, or one over healthcare.
“Criminals out there will see this as an opportunity to exploit Government programs like food stamps believing no one will be watching. That’s what criminals do.”
He added that the results of the crime boom during the Government shutdown might not be felt immediately, but it will leave a lasting legacy that could affect America down the line.
“Everything has a consequence. After World War II, we saw a dramatic increase in soldiers coming home, getting married and having babies, resulting in the baby boom that many did not recognize as a challenge until years later,” Contini said.
“In the same way, a prolonged Government shutdown will have a consequence we might not see or even feel right away, resulting in a crime boom that we won’t fully comprehend for many years to come.”
Meanwhile, an investigation has been launched in Washington DC after a car rammed security gates at the White House. A woman driver was shot dead and two officers injured after a police chase ensued through the heart of the US capital.