Today, I listened to David Cameron introduce Chris Grayling for his first major speech as shadow home secretary. It was great stuff: heartfelt, tough and full of measures that will be welcomed.

In his introduction, David Cameron explained the need for substantive solutions to serious problems. He discussed Conservative plans for police reform, local accountability and fixing our broken society. David was clear that the task of the Home Office will be to fight crime, not to be a social service; that the police are to be a force. The matter is simple: the Home Office will fight crime while other departments fight the causes of crime.

Some highlights of Chris Grayling’s speech:

  • Labour has been soft on crime, and soft on the causes of crime.
  • Violent acts are routine yet met with police cautions for expediency.
  • We must deal with the wrongs against society: much behaviour is not “anti-social”, it is criminal.
  • We need “to find a 21st century alternative to what would once have been a clip around the ear from the local bobby.” 
  • The police will be able to ground young people caught making trouble in their communities.
  • Licensing laws must be changed to challenge public binge drinking.
  • An end to the inappropriate system of cautions.
  • More police on the streets through reduced bureaucracy.
  • The police will get more freedom but they will have to deliver in return.

Text in full here.

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