Policy Guide: Crime and Justice
As the election date nears, it’s time to look at what each party has said it will do in their manifesto. This guide will cover the issues surrounding policing, crime, and security.
The Labour party wants to try and eliminate institutional bias against BAME employees within the police force and other public institutions. They also want to reform the way the police is funded. This is to make sure that sufficient and sustainable resources are fairly allocated across the force. As well as those, Labour also wants to work with police forces to help tackle the rise in violent crime and cybercrime that was seen under the Conservatives. Another key issue raised in the manifesto was that Labour wanted to ensure better training regarding domestic abuse and offenses arising from controlling behaviour. They also want to focus on historical abuse cases and other crimes that were neglected by the smaller forces under the Conservatives.
In regards to national security, Labour wants to take effective measures against a growing problem of extreme or violent radicalisation. They say they will ensure closer counter terrorism co-ordination between the police and the security services.
The Conservative party, like Labour, aims to increase resources for the police and introduce the Police Covenant to make sure they have the support they need. They also want to introduce tougher sentencing for the worst offenders and end automatic halfway release from prison for serious crimes. For child murderers, there will be life imprisonment without parole. The Tories also say with the new freedoms they will have after Brexit, they will prevent more foreign national offenders entering our country.
Another policy is to strengthen the National Crime Agency so it can threats faced from fraud, county lines gangs and child sexual abuse to illicit finance, modern slavery and people trafficking. They also say they will make 10,000 more prison places, with £2.75 billion committed to refurbishing and creating modern prisons.
The Tories say they will continue to fight crime against women and girls, including rape, Female Genital Mutilation and forced marriage. Their support for the main carer receiving Universal Credit will help give greater independence to individuals, most often women, trapped with coercive partners. They will also combat harassment and violence against all religious groups, and against LGBT people.
They pledge to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online, with the aim of protecting children from online abuse and harms, protecting the most vulnerable from accessing harmful content, and ensuring there is no safe space for terrorists to hide online but at the same time defending freedom of expression and in particular recognising and defending the invaluable role of a free press.
The Green party has said they will significantly reduce the number of short-term prison sentences handed out, replacing them with restorative justice projects that have a better record of preventing reoffending. They also say they will end the war on drugs, which has trapped hundreds of thousands of people into lives of crime and treat drug addiction as a health condition, not a crime.
The Greens also want to enhance the rehabilitation services on offer to long-term prisoners, commissioning rehabilitation services that have a track record of success. They will also support and develop a network of specialist women’s centres in order to reduce the female prison population. As well as these centers, they also want to invest in youth services and centres, to help turn at-risk children away from crime and also invest in specialist programmes provided through youth centres.
The Liberal Democrats say they will invest £1 billion to restore community policing, enough for two new police officers in every ward, and introduce a target of one hour for handover of people suffering from mental health crisis from police to mental health services and support the police to achieve adequate levels of training in mental health response. They would also like to end the disproportionate use of Stop and Search.
Another aim is to properly resource the National Crime Agency to combat serious and organised crime, and tackle modern slavery and human trafficking.
The Lib Dems also want to stop Brexit and maintain the European crime-fighting tools including: Europol, the European Arrest Warrant and direct access to shared police databases.
The Brexit party only had three policies related to crime. They were to increase police numbers and have more visible policing, ensure focus on combating violent crime, robbery and burglary rather than enforcing restrictions on free speech. They also want to target the menace of County Lines drug dealers, gangs and the growth of knife crime.
The third policy was to abolish distortive targets and introduce sentence ‘ranges’ for young offenders, to encourage rehabilitation.