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Police and Security

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The primary duty of government is to keep people safe. Our communities were endangered when the Conservatives took 21,000 police officers off our streets.
Recorded crime has risen, including violent crimes like knife crime, which has risen to record high levels, up 80% in the last five years. Last year more than 11 million crimes were recorded, and the proportion of offences charged has fallen across all categories: violence, drugs, robbery, burglary, weapons possession and vehicle theft. Prosecutions have fallen to a record low level. Some offences have been decriminalised in practice. Only 1.4% of reported rapes are prosecuted.

Crime rates reflect the society we live in. Conservative cuts to services have eroded the fabric of local communities. The rate of school exclusions has increased, as has social inequality – crime rates are driven by both.

Where the Conservatives have failed, a Labour government will take action to address the causes of crime and end the epidemic. We will invest in our communities and public services to build the stronger, fairer society that keeps us all safer. Rebuilding our criminal justice services, we will focus on crime prevention and early interventions, giving people the best chance of rehabilitation.

We will rebuild our youth services and guarantee young people’s access to youth workers. We will invest in a youth justice system in which schools, local authorities, health authorities and youth services work together to divert young people away from the pathways towards crime.

A Labour government will invest in policing to prevent crime and make our communities safer, and we will enforce the laws protecting police and other emergency workers from violent assault.

We will rebuild the whole police workforce, recruiting more police officers, police community support officers and police staff. We will re-establish neighbourhood policing and recruit 2,000 more frontline officers than have been planned for by the Conservatives. We will work with police forces to invest in a modern workforce to tackle the rise in violent crime and cybercrime under the Tories. To deliver these priorities, Labour will work with police and crime commissioners to reform police funding and share new resources fairly, and to ensure that local needs are met.

The Tory approach to policing has been different: reckless, remote, authoritarian, ineffective policing on the cheap. It has led to what HM Inspectorate of Constabulary described as dangerous, disturbing practices, with investigations shelved, vulnerable victims let down and dangerous suspects remaining at large.

We will retain local democratic accountability for police forces and reform the police funding formula to ensure sufficient, sustainable resources are fairly allocated. We will agree resources with the police authorities to combat crime and restore community policing by consent.

Effective police work requires the police to serve their communities and work collaboratively with youth workers, mental health services, schools, drug rehabilitation programmes and other public agencies. A police force working within our communities, with the capacity to gather local intelligence, is also the frontline of our domestic security – the first eyes and ears of effective counter-terrorism.

We will work to eliminate institutional biases against BAME communities. Proportionate stop-and-search based on intelligence is a needed tool of effective policing, but the use of expanded powers means black and Asian men are still more likely to be stopped and searched, poisoning relations between the police and the local communities they serve.

We will ensure better police training on domestic abuse and offences arising from coercive control, as well as historical abuses and other crimes neglected by the reduced forces operating under Tory austerity.

A Labour government will establish a Royal Commission to develop a public health approach to substance misuse, focusing on harm reduction rather than criminalisation.

We will introduce minimum legal standards of service for all victims of crime.


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