Offering a fair deal on policing crime and justice

18 Jun 2024
Police car

Why we need a Fair Deal for Crime and Policing 

Everyone deserves to feel safe in their own homes and walking down their own streets, but that’s not the reality for many people in the UK today. Dr Aidan King, Liberal Democrats candidate for Newcastle North, introduces our plans. He says :  
Police officers up and down the country do a great job every day, but the Conservatives have failed our communities with their ineffective resourcing of frontline police, leaving them overstretched and under-resourced. 
Burglaries go unsolved, while rates of fraud, anti-social behaviour, and violence against women and girls remain alarmingly high. 
Victims of crime are left waiting hours for the police to show up and investigate - that is, if they show up at all. 
Court backlogs prolong the agony for victims seeking justice, and prisons are overcrowded, understaffed, and ineffective at rehabilitating offenders. 

An effective police force 

To enhance law enforcement and public safety, we will: 
✅ Restore proper community policing, where officers are visible, trusted and focused on preventing and solving crimes – especially rape and other violent crime. We will work with the police to identify tasks that use a disproportionate amount of their time and help boost efficiency. 
✅ Create a statutory guarantee that all burglaries will be attended by the police and properly investigated. 
✅ Establish a national Online Crime Agency to combat online crime, allowing frontline police officers to focus on local crime instead. 
✅ Replace Police and Crime Commissioners with Police Boards made up of local councillors and community representatives, and invest the savings in frontline policing. 
✅ Draw up a national recruitment, training and retention strategy to tackle detective shortages. 
✅ Enforce youth diversion programs as a statutory duty nationwide, offering pre-charge alternatives for young people up to age 25. Youth diversion addresses low-level crime without going through the formal justice system, improving outcomes for young people and reducing the strain on police resources. 

We will also ensure the police are held to the highest standards, so that public trust is restored and victims are properly supported. 
We will: 
✅ Rebuild public trust in policing by ending the disproportionate use of Stop and Search, repealing the Public Order Act 2023 and improving access to restorative justice. 
✅ Require the Home Secretary, Mayor of London and Metropolitan Police Commissioner to implement the recommendations of the Baroness Casey Review and revamp vetting and misconduct procedures. This review, prompted by the tragic case of Sarah Everard and other incidents involving Met officers, scrutinises the culture and standards within the Met. 
✅ Introduce mandatory training for police on supporting victims of violence against women and girls, helping victims and restoring trust in the police. 

Restoring the justice system 

Urgent action is needed across all elements of the justice system, including the courts and prisons. 
We will: 
✅ Invest in the criminal justice system to tackle court case backlogs and ensure swift justice for victims and offenders. 
✅ Break the cycle of reoffending by improving rehabilitation in prisons and on release, and strengthening the supervision of offenders in the community. 

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