It is the Prime Minister’s priority to make our streets safer.
We are hiring 183 more police officers for Thames Valley Police by the end of 2020-21 as part of our target to recruit 20,000 more police officers over the next three years to cut crime and keep people safe.
We will give them the powers, kit and backing they need – like extending their powers to stop and search and reviewing sentences so that we can keep serious criminals in prison for longer.
We’re send a clear message to criminals – we are coming after you. Meaning the law-abiding majority can live their lives free from the fear of crime.
We’re giving the police the powers, resources and support they need
- Hiring 20,000 new police officers to keep our streets safe. The unprecedented drive to deliver 20,000 more frontline police officers over the next three years has begun with the launch of a national campaign, overseen by a new national policing board and backed by £750 million next year.
- Making it simpler for the police to use emergency stop and search restrictions to take knives off our streets. We are empowering more than 8,000 police officers to authorise enhanced stop and search powers, as part of our efforts to crack down on violent crime.
- We will give the police and criminal justice system the powers and resources they need to end the scourge of knife crime and make our streets safer. We will task the system with bringing knife carriers to court within days, investing in Violence Reduction Units. Police will be empowered by a new court order to target known knife carriers, making it easier for officers to stop and search those convicted of knife crime.
- Empowering Chief Constables to provide more of their officers with Tasers to tackle crime. We are giving police forces £10 million in additional funding to significantly increase the number of officers carrying Taser.
- Our Police Protection Bill will give police officers the protection they need to keep us safe. The Bill will recognise the bravery, commitment and sacrifices of police officers and ensure they are able to fully conduct their duties by providing them with additional support and protection – establishing a Police Covenant, allowing Special Constables representation and support from the Police Federation, and introducing new driving tests to give officers the confidence to catch offenders using vehicles and not fear retribution.
And toughening up the justice system
- Reviewing sentencing to ensure the public are properly protected from the most dangerous criminals. An urgent review will ensure violent and sexual offenders are serving the right sentences. We are also extending the Unduly Lenient Sentence Scheme, so more victims can appeal the sentences offenders receive, and legislating to prevent the automatic release of the most serious violent and sexual offenders at the half way point of their sentence.
- We will provide extra support to reduce high rates of reoffending by prisoners, get more prisoners working and learning, and tackle the barriers to employment for ex-offenders. People who commit crimes should be punished but as Conservatives we believe in giving people a second chance. Tackling barriers to employment can help reduce reoffending and prevent more people becoming victims of crime.
- We will reform the life sentence regime and make a Whole Life Order the starting point for sentencing all adults who murder children. This would apply to all convicted adults found to have committed a premeditated killing a child with intent to kill. Although a Whole Life Order would become the starting tariff, judges would still be able to exercise their usual discretion and depart from this in exceptional circumstances. It will apply to all crimes committed after the revised schedule is implemented.
- Creating 10,000 extra prison places to hold the additional offenders who will be caught, charged and sentenced. Up to £2.5 billion will be spent on creating modern, efficient prisons to better reform criminals and keep the public safe, while an extra £100 million will aid the crackdown on crime within prisons.
- We will invest in our prisons to ensure they can deliver more purposeful activity and prison industries to prepare prisoners for employment, establish a Prisoner Education Service to ensure they have the skills they need when they leave, provide career advice in every prison, and provide education-focused custodial environments for young offenders.
- Providing another £55 million to help the criminal justice system cope with an increase in demand. This funding will ensure the criminal justice system can respond to the increase in demand caused by our 20,000 additional police officers on the street.
We are working to prevent people entering a life of crime in the first place
- Creating a new statutory duty on public sector bodies to work together to address serious violence. Agencies from sectors such as health, education, social services, local government, and housing will work collaboratively to tackle the root causes of serious violence.
- Creating a £500 million Youth Investment Fund, to support young people across the whole of the UK. This investment will help build 60 new youth centres across the country, refurbish around 360 existing youth facilities, and provide over 100 mobile facilities for harder to reach areas. It will also support investment in the youth workforce.
- Providing £100 million to police forces in the areas worst affected by violent crime. This funding will pay for increased police presence and patrolling to make our streets safer, with most of the funding going to the seven police forces which make up around 70 per cent of knife crime and £35 million being invested in 18 new Violence Reduction Units.
- Making it harder than ever before to get hold of a dangerous weapon. The Offensive Weapons Act bans a range of weapons and make it a criminal offence to possess corrosive substances in a public place. It also introduces Knife Crime Prevention Orders to prevent vulnerable young people from becoming involved in knife possession and knife crime.
- Introducing a Youth Endowment Fund of £200 million to provide a 10 year investment to focus on steering young people away from becoming serious offenders. We will use early predictors of involvement in youth violence such as truancy, substance misuse and family factors like parental criminality.36
Labour and the Liberal Democrats are soft on crime
- Labour would give our police less money and fewer officers to tackle crime. Labour voted against making an additional £970 million available to the police this year and would only provide an additional 10,000 more police officers – half the amount we are delivering.
- They wouldn’t give police the powers they need to keep us safe. Labour oppose stronger stop and search powers and Knife Crime Prevention Orders – important measures the police need to reduce serious violence.
- And they would leave criminals on the streets. Labour would scrap prison sentences of six months or less, while Jeremy Corbyn has personally opposed tough sentences for criminals and voted against jail time for repeat knife carriers.
- The Liberal Democrats wouldn’t send people to prison for carrying knives, acid, or drugs and would soften sentencing significantly. Their Conference adopted policies of: ‘Ending mandatory sentences for possession of knives and corrosive substances’, ‘ending prison sentences for the possession of drugs for personal use’, ‘conducting a sentencing review with a view to reducing long sentences’ use’ and ‘ending the use of prison for women, except for the most serious and violent crimes’.