To protect society and build communities that are safe we need to tackle crime. We must rigorously use an evidence-based approach to learn what best practice is.
In government we have cut crime by a fifth – it is now at its lowest since records began. We have continued to work with our international partners, through measures like the European Arrest Warrant, to tackle cross-border crime and terrorism.
In the long-term, to cut crime we need to reduce levels of re-offending amongst those who leave prison. I am pleased we have begun a rehabilitation revolution and made sure that for the first time ever any offender who is released after a custodial sentence will now receive at least 12 months’ supervision after release.
We need to take this good work further and adopt bolder approaches to help cut rates of re-offending. My party has proposed introducing a statutory presumption against custodial sentences against 12 months. This means that those who commit petty crimes wouldn’t be put in prison where they usually pick up bad habits. Instead, they’d be given tough non-custodial sentences to help them re-build their lives. This would also save enormous amounts of money.
My party is also committed to ending imprisonment for personal possession of drugs. We want to take a health-based approach that will ensure addicts are given the help they need, rather than being treated as criminals.