The Tories are complacent on crime, neglecting neighbourhood policing and letting victims down. Violent crime is rising, but convictions for violent crime are falling. Too many offenders are getting away with it. Under the Tories, domestic violence and violence against women are being taken less seriously – with thousands of perpetrators being dealt with by community resolution, which doesn't result in any criminal record at all.
David Cameron promised to protect the frontline, yet police numbers have fallen by 16,000 while the Tories have wasted millions on Police and Crime Commissioner elections. Meanwhile they have weakened powers for police and councils to keep communities safe, making it harder for the police to use DNA evidence to prevent and solve crime, scrapping ASBOs and increasing red tape to block communities from installing CCTV.
The Tories have let victims down, with a toothless victims' code, attempts to introduce anonymity for rape suspects, cuts to compensation and restrictions on access to justice. They have broken their promise to introduce an automatic jail sentence for carrying a knife, attempted to introduce a 50 per cent sentence discount rate, and abolished Labour’s tough sentencing reforms for the most serious and dangerous criminals. And they have presided over a growing crisis in our prisons, with a lack of space and staff meaning that prisoners aren't being rehabilitated.
Labour will restore confidence in our police and criminal justice system:
- We will put visible neighbourhood policing back in its rightful place – at the heart of our communities, with a Local Policing Commitment that gives a guaranteed minimum level of neighbourhood policing, so people have confidence to report crime and confidence that criminals will not escape justice.
- We will insist on new professional standards in our police service, with officers guilty of serious misconduct struck off, and a tougher Police Standards Authority.
- We will abolish Police and Crime Commissioners and put the savings back into frontline policing instead.
- We will take domestic violence and violence against women seriously, with a ban on the use of community resolutions for dealing with domestic abuse and sexual crimes, and the introduction of compulsory sex and relationship education in schools.
- We will create a justice system with witnesses and victims at its heart, including the country’s first ever Victims’ Law to give victims of crime new entitlements to minimum standards of service as well as the ability to hold those services to account when standards are not met.
- We will put rehabilitation at the heart of a prison system which aims to reduce reoffending and cut crime, ensuring that prisons properly punish and reform while mobilising the talents and expertise of all agencies to cut crime.