According to FullFact, 70% of stop and searches are unwarranted. Stop and search powers are overused by the police and woefully disproportionate. We will stop this, make people feel safer and protect our civil liberties.
The Liberal Democrats will:
Adopt a public health approach to the epidemic of youth violence: identifying risk factors and treating them, rather than just focusing on the symptoms.
Give local authorities the duty and funding to provide accommodation and support for survivors of abuse.
Invest £1 billion to restore community policing, enough for two new police officers in every Council ward.
People should feel safe in their homes and on their streets. But this is not how it is for too many people today: knife crime has increased by over 75 per cent since 2015; homicides are at their highest rate for a decade; robberies and thefts are increasing and almost all go unsolved; and there are more and more places in the country where people simply don’t see police officers. The Conservatives, having unnecessarily cut police funding in England and Wales, are now trying to seem tough on crime without actually doing what is needed to prevent it. We understand that the situation needs more than tough talk: our plan means more police, properly supported by the government and focused on the community policing that prevents crime and makes people feel safe while investing in the services that will help people build lives free from crime. We will:
- Invest £1 billion to restore community policing, enough for two new police officers in every ward.
- Adopt a public health approach to the epidemic of youth violence: identifying risk factors and treating them, rather than just focusing on the symptoms. This means police, teachers, health professionals, youth workers and social services all working closely together to prevent young people falling prey to gangs and violence.
- Invest in youth services. We will provide a £500m ringfenced youth services fund to local authorities to repair the damage done to youth services and enable them to deliver a wider range of services, reach more young people and improve training for youth workers.
- Embed Trauma-informed Youth Intervention Specialists in all Major Trauma Centres.
- Introduce a target of one hour for handover of people suffering from mental health crisis from police to mental health services and support the police to achieve adequate levels of training in mental health response.
- Fully fund an immediate two per cent pay-rise for police officers to support recruitment and retention, and future pay rises in line with recommendations from the independent Police Remuneration Review Body.
- Properly resource the National Crime Agency to combat serious and organised crime, and tackle modern slavery and human trafficking through proactive, intelligence-led enforcement of labour market standards.
- Create a new Online Crime Agency to effectively tackle illegal content and activity online, such as personal fraud, revenge porn and threats and incitement to violence on social media.
- End the disproportionate use of Stop and Search.
- Prevent violence against women and girls and domestic abuse, and support survivors, by:
- Ratifying and bringing into law the Istanbul Convention.
- Legislating for a statutory definition of domestic abuse that includes its effects on children.
- Expanding the number of refuges and rape crisis centres to meet demand.
- Ensuring sustainable grant-funding for specialist independent support services.
- Giving local authorities the duty and funding to provide accommodation and support for survivors of abuse.
- Establishing a national rape crisis helpline.
- Ensuring access to special measures for survivors in all courts and preventing direct cross-examination of survivors by their abusers.
- Replace Police and Crime Commissioners with accountable Police Boards made up of local councillors.
- Stop Brexit and maintain the European crime-fighting tools that keep us all safe, including: Europol, the European Arrest Warrant and direct access to shared police databases.