Prison reform activists ridicule Johnson’s tough stance on crime

13 August, 2019, 18:57 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption Youth mentor Dijon Joseph and Ch Supt Simon Messinger discuss stop and search

The Prime Minister said unsafe criminals must be taken off the streets and punishments "truly fit the crime" if the public was to have confidence in the justice system.

It follows announcements of an extra 10,000 places in prison, backed by £2.5billion of funding, and the extensions of nationwide stop and search powers.

Since taking office last month, Johnson has already set out plans to recruit another 20,000 police officers over the next three years.

The investment into the prison service has been approved by Sajid Javid the chancellor, and Johnson said it is "vital they [prisoners] get the sentence they deserve".

The sentencing policy review will begin this week by Whitehall officials who will directly report to Mr Johnson by Autumn of this year.

'We will stop the drugs, weapons and the mobile phones coming in, so we can safeguard victims, protect staff, cut violence and make our prisons properly equipped to reform and rehabilitate'.

Mr Johnson has spoken repeatedly in the past about stop and search as a means of keeping streets safe, saying during a speech at the Conservative Party conference in 2018: "Don't you think it's time we brought back systematic stop and search to end the politically correct nonsense that has endangered the lives of young people in our capital and elsewhere?"

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"For years, Labour and Tory ministers have made sentences longer and longer, without any evidence that they prevent crime", she said.

Liberal Democrat justice spokeswoman Wera Hobhouse echoed the views that lengthening sentences simply overcrowds prisons and wastes public money.

"That is why I am announcing today that in all 43 police authorities in England and Wales, we are making clear that the police can and should make use of their stop-and-search powers", he added, with 8,000 additional police officers being able to deploy stop and search powers without a senior officer needing to give the go-ahead. "Instead of just talking tough, it's time ministers look at the evidence".

"Any change to that direction of travel is to be welcomed".

"Victims want to see it, the public want to see it and I want to see it".

"Far more will be needed across the system including more substantial sums to the entire prosecution system and the Ministry of Justice including the courts service to restore public faith in our criminal justice system where increasingly those who commit crime walk free and the innocent risk being convicted".

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