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Labour’s manifesto commitments on justice
My summary of the Labour party's manifesto pledges on criminal justice.

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Take back our streets

This is the third in a short series of posts summarising the manifesto pledges on criminal justice made by the main political parties. Today I look at the commitments in the Labour manifesto. Their section on criminal justice is entitled “Take back our streets” and sets out five priorities:

  • Crack down on antisocial behaviour with more neighbourhood police
  • Tough new penalties for offenders
  • A plan to get knives off our streets
  • A specialist rape unit in every police force
  • A new network of Young Futures hubs

Nine issues are addressed:

  1. Neighbourhood policing
  2. Anti social behaviour
  3. Knife crime action plan
  4. Tackling violence against women and girls
  5. Better policing
  6. Solving crime
  7. Justice system reform
  8. Prisons
  9. Historical injustices

Neighbourhood policing

Labour is pledging a new Neighbourhood Policing Guarantee, restoring patrols to our town centres by recruiting “thousands of new police officers, police and community support officers, and special constables” which it says will be paid for by tackling waste through a new Police Efficiency and Collaboration programme.

Anti-social behaviour

The party says it will introduce  new Respect Orders – powers to ban persistent adult offenders from town centres, targeted at public drinking and drug use. Like the Conservatives, they pledge to create a specific new offence for assaults on shopworkers.

Knife crime

The proposed action plan includes:

  • Automatic referring young people with knives to the YOT
  • Prevent online sales of machetes etc.
  • A Young Futures youth diversion programme
  • Youth workers in A&E units and PRUs, this latter funded “by full recovery of the cost of firearm licensing”.

Violence against women and girls

The main components of the plan to tackle VAWG are:

  • Specialist rape and sexual offences teams in every police force
  • Fast-tracking rape cases, with specialist courts at every Crown Court
  • location
  • Better support for victims including domestic abuse experts in 999 control rooms
  • Strengthen the use of Stalking Protection Orders and a new offence of spiking

Better policing

Labour pledges to the Inspectorate of Constabulary new powers to intervene with failing forces and introduce mandatory professional standards on vetting, checks and misconduct for individual officers; and stronger training on racism and violence against women and girls.

It also promises to introduce new legal safeguards around strip-searching children and young people.

In line with other parties. Labour has committed to an expanded fraud strategy and to modernise the service to be able to respond to new crimes.

Solving crime

Labour says it will raise the rate at which crimes are solved by

Labour will reverse this, driving up the proportion of crimes solved by reducing barriers to bringing charges, cutting bureaucracy, and improving collaboration. They intend to increase the number of detectives by rolling out a direct entry scheme.

Justice system that puts victims first

Labour pledges to introduce new protections for victims of crime and persistent antisocial behaviour, by increasing the powers of the Victims’ Commissioner, and ensuring victims can access the information and support they need. It says it will also carry out a review of sentencing for offences against women and girls.

Prisons and reducing reoffending

The Labour party says that it work with prisons to improve offenders’ access to purposeful activity and improve resettlement. It also promises more support for the children of people in prison.

Labour promises a strategic review of probation governance, including considering the benefits of devolved models.

Historical injustices

Labour will introduce a ‘Hillsborough Law’ which will place a legal duty of candour on public servants and authorities, and provide legal aid for victims of disasters or state-related deaths. It promises to introduce a Windrush Commissioner.

You can read the manifesto in full here.

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