What are Labour’s promises on crime?

Labour launched their election manifesto today. The cover of the manifesto has been likened to something from Orwell, a Mao poster with echoes of Obama: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/blog/2010/apr/12/general-election-2010-labour1

The manifesto covers a broad range of issues, setting out Labour’s stall. Some of the specifics of the crime/criminal justice agenda are set out in the section:

Strengthening our Communities, Securing our Borders

Amongst the more populist and punitive’ of the stated aims are promises to:

Intervene earlier to prevent crime, with no-nonsense action to tackle the problems caused by 50,000 dysfunctional families.

Expand tough ‘Community Payback’ for criminals who don’t go to prison, giving everyone the right to vote on the work they do.

The manifesto also promises to increase the use and enforcement of ASBOs to tackle anti-social behaviour:

Enforcement will also be strengthened: we will ensure that the great majority of applications for ASBOs take under a month and that whenever an ASBO is breached there is an expectation of prosecution. And when someone suffers repeated ASB and the police, council, courts or other agencies fail to act, there must be a stronger form of redress. So we will legislate to give people financial support to pursue legal injunctions, with the costs met by the agency that let them down.

In a somewhat predictable spin in praise of record prison numbers ‘achieved’ under New Labour –

We have provided over 26,000 more prison places since 1997. There are more criminals in prison – not because crime is rising but because violent and serious offenders are going to prison for longer.

And the promise is for more prison places (96,000 by 2014)

Again, the victim is promised to be placed at the ‘heart’ of the system – whatever that means?

And for those of you who like life on-line there is the promise of ‘virtual courts’ to speed up the criminal justice process.

Read the manifesto here: http://www2.labour.org.uk/uploads/TheLabourPartyManifesto-2010.pdf


  1. Comment by post author

    On the concept of ‘payback’ in relation to community sanctions – Fergus McNeill has written an interesting critique in the Irish Probation Journal:

  2. Comment by post author

    Manifesto mania
    The Guardian’s data blog compares the key words used in the manifestos here. http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2010/apr/13/conservative-manifesto-compares-labour-wordle Google also compares the number of times words such as police and crime feature. http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=tnrEdKmyRmv-g6Pz0rwJXGA

    Here you can use a drop down list to compare the different party claims on various issues. http://www.epolitix.com/election/manifesto

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