One of my greatest passions is led by one of my biggest fears – how we, as a society, are going to approach the complex issue of Crime. I experienced a monumental culture shock when I moved from a small, relatively safe seaside town in Wales to the vibrant city centre of Birmingham two years ago. When something happened in the town I grew up everyone knew about it and it was extraordinary and rare occurrence – a huge contrast to the reality of City life, where extraordinary crimes are thought of as a part of daily life.
As a Blue Collar Conservative, I believe that people should be empowered, their opportunities maximized and quality of life increased. This is best achieved through Conservative policies. This extends to all parts of society, combating crime by investing in people and lifting up those who need it most, not just for the individual, but for society. Aside from investment, immediate action needs to be taken to keep our streets safe. We can’t and shouldn’t wait decades to see a reduction in crime, or to feel safer in our communities.
In the introduction of the Conservative Manifesto, The Prime Minister reinforced his pledge to make our streets and neighbourhoods safer by injecting our communities with 20,000 more police officers. This will bring more visibility with a view for greater cohesion between the Police and communities. Johnson immediately got to work and ordered recruitment to begin as soon as the announcement was made, instilling confidence in the public before the election even began.
Prevention is also a priority – along with the increase of officers on our streets, the Government is also giving the ‘bobbies on the beat’ extended stop and search powers to reduce serious violent crime. The manifesto clarifies that these stop-and-search powers need to be ‘fair and proportionate’ and Police Officers will also be able to target those convicted of knife crime through a new court order. Criminals will face punishment three times faster than they are currently, being brought before the magistrates in days not weeks. These new measures are preventative and act as effective deterrents that will rebalance the power that police have over criminals.
Together with preventative measures, the Government announced tougher sentencing which benefits society through increasing hours of community work, expanding electronic tagging and to include the use of sobriety tagging for criminals who are fuelled by alcohol and giving proportionate sentences for the most serious of crimes. The sentence for assaulting our emergency service workers such as ambulance crew, police & fire fighters will be doubled. Sentencing for the worst offenders was featured, promising life imprisonment for child murderers.
The Government has also focused on how to equip and protect our Police Officers whilst they are in the line of duty, by providing tools like body cameras and Tasers to enable our officers to enforce the law when they are out in the community. BCC successfully campaigned for a new legal guarantee of national care and support for officers in the fight against crime, culminating in the Home Secretary Sajid Javid announcing the introduction on a Police Covenant. This will ensure that the Police Officers that put their lives on the line to keep us safe, also have the support and protection that they need.
As a voter, these are the things I needed to hear. Immediate action, preventative measures, increased powers and tougher sentences proportionate to the crime. Prioritising the safety of our communities and protecting the most vulnerable in our society is clearly a priority, but in the aftermath of crime and tragedy supporting the victims of crime is also at the forefront of this Governments agenda, achieved through passing and implementing a Victims Law that will guarantee the rights and support of victims when they need it the most.