At the launch of our Crime and Justice Manifesto today, the Labour Party is committing to keeping police on the beat – legislating to introduce a new ‘Local Policing Commitment’, which makes sure police forces guarantee neighbourhood policing in every area.
We are setting out £800 million worth of efficiency savings, as part of our Zero-Based-Review of spending, to enable Chief Constables to safeguard over 10,000 police officers for the next three years from extreme Tory cuts.
The savings – all of which have been ruled out by the Tories – include scrapping expensive police and crime commissioners and halving the cost of police governance; ending the police subsidy of gun licenses; mandating joint procurement and sharing support services.
We believe British policing is at its best when police officers are out on the streets, proactively preventing crime, rather than simply reacting to emergencies. But because of the Conservatives’ decisions, neighbourhood policing – the foundation of good British policing – is at risk of disappearing, whilst increasing numbers of serious criminals are being let off the hook.
This follows warnings by the Independent Police Inspectorate about the ‘erosion’ of neighbourhood policing and from Chief Constables about the future of the police. Now the Conservatives are planning even deeper cuts to policing at a time when the police are already struggling to cope with an increase in violent crimes, such as child sexual exploitation and rape and a growing terror threat.
Labour has a better plan for policing and putting victims at the heart of the criminal justice system.
Alongside the commitment to protect over 10,000 police officers from cuts, Labour’s Crime and Justice Manifesto sets out plans to:
· Put victims at the heart of the criminal justice system – by introducing the country’s first ever Victims’ Law.
· Prevent crime before it occurs – forcing perpetrators of anti-social behaviour to make good on the damage caused, diverting young adults away from crime and banning the sale of ‘legal highs’ on our streets.
· Tackle child sexual exploitation and violence against women and girls – with a new cross-departmental child protection unit and tough new laws, including powers to prevent an adult from contacting or communicating with a child if there is evidence of abuse, banning the use of so-called ‘community resolutions’ in instances of domestic violence and establishing a new Commissioner for Sexual and Domestic Violence to hold Government to account. Labour will also ensure all young people are taught about safe and healthy relationships by introducing age-appropriate compulsory sex & relationship education in all state-funded schools.
· Build a justice system fit for the 21st Century – reforming prisons to ensure prisoners spend more time working and learning, raising professional standards amongst prison officers and greater scrutiny of those companies running probation services.
· Tackle extremism and the threat of terrorism – with dangerous suspects subject to proper controls, an overhaul of the ‘Prevent’ programme to stop young people from being radicalised and strengthening the law to tackle rising hate crime.
Click here to read the Crime and Justice Manifesto in full.