I’ve just returned from a press conference given by David Davis, David Cameron and Nick Herbert. At the event they launched a booklet summarising ‘How a Conservative Government will tackle Britain’s crime crisis’. Here are the main measures included in the booklet:
‘STOPPING THE CRIMINAL INDIVIDUAL’
- The 40 question stop form will be abolished in order to encourage effective neighbourhood policing.
- Extend stop and search in order to tackle carrying of knives, guns and other offensive weapons.
- Scrap targets so that the police can spend more time on the beat. David Davis told the press conference that a 25% cut in police bureaucracy could double police time on the streets and deliver the beginnings of New York-style policing in Britain. David Ruffley MP has been put in charge of finding ways of cutting this bureaucracy.
- Workplace reform for the police with a Sandhurst-type focus on training and leadership for talented individuals.
- New guidance to encourage judges and magistrates to remove anti-social offenders’ driving licenses.
- Emergency capacity must be found within the prison estate so that the early release scheme can be scrapped.
‘REFORMING THE STATE’
- Greater enforcement of school discipline. Measures to include separate special needs education for children who should not be in mainstream schools and the abolition of external appeals panels so that schools determine their own exclusions.
- More local discretion in the granting of alcohol licences and explore additional powers to tackle irresponsible drinks promotions.
- Every police force to be made accountable to an individual elected by citizens in the police force area.
- Convicted criminals to serve the full sentence given to them by the judge.
- Extension of magistrates’ power to send offenders to prison from six to twelve months.
- More jail places so that the prison service has time and space to reverse recent increases in reoffending and ensure special provision for the mentally ill and those with drug problems.
- A dedicated UK border police force – unlike Gordon Brown’s ersatz reform the Tory proposal will include the police themselves and the British Transport Police.
- Abolition of the Human Rights Act and the introduction of a "modern British Bill of Rights".
‘THE ROLE OF SOCIETY’
- The tax and benefits system will be used to help families stay together and there will be new rights to flexible working for employees with children.
- A new regular process of consultation with music producers will be established to ensure a constructive dialogue on social responsibility.
- Welfare reform whereby independent organisations will be given the job of finding long-term jobs for unemployed people.
New communications chief Andy Coulson watched from the sidelines of the conference and a gaggle of journalists surrounded him at the end of proceedings. Many commentators believe that the former News of the World Editor can be credited with the sharper edge to Conservative presentation of recent days.