Crime plan to protect victims and make streets safer
- Also published by:
- Ministry of Justice
The Beating Crime Plan will level up the country by ensuring everyone has the security and confidence that comes from having a safe street and a safe home.
A new plan to reduce crime, protect victims and make the country safer was set out by the government yesterday (Tuesday 27 July).
The measures build on progress to date toughening sentences to keep the most dangerous offenders behind bars and the delivery of almost 9,000 of the 20,000 extra police officers promised by 2023 – one of the Prime Minister’s first commitments in office.
The plan will ensure the public is better protected across all parts of the country, with each neighbourhood having contactable, named police officers, who know their area and are best placed to ensure that persistent crime and anti-social behaviour is tackled.
The government’s promise to the public through this plan is that every crime matters, every victim matters and every neighbourhood matters. That is why, alongside getting more officers out on streets and making local forces more easily contactable, the public will be given more opportunity to scrutinise results, with league tables for 101 and 999 call answering times to be introduced for each force.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday said:
When I first stood on the steps of Downing Street as Prime Minister, I promised to back the police and make people safer, because we cannot level up the country when crime hits the poorest hardest and draws the most vulnerable into violence.
That is why my government has remained unstinting in its efforts to protect the British public and this plan delivers a fresh commitment, as we emerge from the impacts of the pandemic, to have less crime, fewer victims and a safer society.
The Beating Crime Plan spans work across the police, courts, prison and probation service to drive down and prevent crime, improve confidence in the criminal justice system, rehabilitate offenders to ensure they do not go on to commit crimes again and create the safer streets and homes the public want for themselves and their neighbours.
A particular focus is given to early intervention, prevention and practical measures to deliver real results across communities, and to tackle serious violence and neighbourhood crimes.
- expanding the use of electronic monitoring so burglars and thieves will have their whereabouts monitored 24 hours a day upon release from prison
- permanently relaxing conditions on the use of section 60 stop and search powers to empower police to take more knives off the streets
- trialling the use of alcohol tags – which detect alcohol in the sweat of offenders guilty of drink-fuelled crime – on prison leavers in Wales; this is to address the fact alcohol is a significant driver of crime, playing a part in 39% of all violent crime
- making unpaid work more visible by getting offenders to clean up streets, alleys, estates, and open spaces, and ensuring justice is seen to be done
- investing over £45m in specialist support in both mainstream schools and Alternative Provision – including mental health professionals, family workers, and speech and language therapists – in serious violence hotspots to support young people at risk of involvement in violence to re-engage in education
- a new £17m package for Violence Reduction Units to provide high-intensity therapeutic and specialist support from trained youth workers, including at crisis points such as when a young person is being admitted to A&E with a knife injury or upon arrest, to divert them away from violence
- rolling out two further rounds of the Safer Streets Fund to increase the safety of public spaces through steps including targeted patrols, increased lighting and CCTV, and work with councils to design out crime
- enhancing the role for Police and Crime Commissioners by launching the second part of the PCC Review to equip them with the tools they need to drive down crime and anti-social behaviour in their local areas
Home Secretary Priti Patel yesterday said:
I am absolutely determined to cut crime and deliver a safer society for the public, and the Beating Crime Plan shows how the government is going to do just that.
We’re putting 20,000 new police officers on the street, equipping them with new powers to catch criminals and take away knives, and shutting down drug gangs who exploit children and the vulnerable to make money.
This plan sets out a clear path for a better future for the British public – one with less crime, fewer victims, and a safer society for all.
The Beating Crime Plan recognises the need to address the underlying causes of crime, with new tactics and investment to deal with alcohol and the scourge of illegal drugs, which are major driver of burglaries and violent crime. Last year almost half of all homicides were drug-related.
To address this, alongside the plan the government will also respond to Parts 1 and 2 of Dame Carol Black’s review today. This will specifically set out steps to:
- expand Project ADDER – an innovative, new approach which combines tough law enforcement with increased provision of treatment and recovery services – to eight more local authorities. Backed by an additional £31m, this will allow the police to target local gang leaders driving the drugs trade while better helping people to recover from addictions in more of the hardest-hit areas
- increase the police’s use of drug testing on arrest to crack down on recreational drug use and ensure those who break the law face consequences
The increase of testing upon arrest marks the first step in work to challenge drug misuse, reduce demand and change the perceived acceptability of using illicit drugs which devastate communities and fuel serious violence.
To drive this work, the government will convene a summit to bring together key partners including employers, educators, enforcement and health partners to work up a comprehensive package to drive down illicit drug demand and misuse, and tackle these challenges across society.
Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland yesterday said:
We’ve backed the probation service with an extra £310 million to boost recruitment to record levels and expanded the use of electronic tags to keep an even closer eye on offenders.
We’re also toughening sentences for the most dangerous, building 18,000 more prison places and putting victims at the heart of all our reforms so that they and the wider public are better protected.
You can read the Beating Crime Plan.
- Almost 9,000 extra police officers have been recruited since September 2019, with an additional £415m provided this year to continue recruitment.
- This year’s police funding settlement totalled up to £15.8bn, an increase of up to £600m compared to last year’s settlement. We also provided forces with almost £200m last year to meet unforeseen Covid-19 costs, outside the funding settlement.
- An extra £310m invested in the probation service has helped recruit 1,000 probation officers in the past year alone and we are spending £4 billion to deliver 18,000 new prison places.
- We are investing £450m to deliver speedier justice and help courts reduce delays for victims. This has included setting up temporary ‘Nightingale courts’ across the country as we recover from the pandemic, as well as rolling out further technology and hiring 1,600 extra staff to increase capacity.
Further facts on measures:
- We are rolling out Project ADDER to eight new local authorities. We provided £28m in January to launch pilots for the programme in five areas with some of the highest rates of drugs misuse – Blackpool, Hastings, Middlesbrough, Norwich and Swansea Bay. Now, with a further £31m investment over the next two years, ADDER sites will be set up in two London boroughs (Hackney and Tower Hamlets), three local authorities in Liverpool City Region (Liverpool City, Knowsley and Wirral), Bristol, Newcastle and Wakefield.
- This January announcement was part of a £148 million package to take a system-wide approach to the problem of illegal drugs. It gave extra resources to the police and NCA to dismantle organised criminal gangs alongside the largest increase in drug treatment funding for 15 years.
- We are increasing investment in the Safer Streets Fund, with two further rounds rolled out this year, to support crime prevention measures such as CCTV and better street lighting, taking the total investment to £70m. The first two rounds of funding supported 102 projects across England and Wales.
- In March, the Acquisitive Crime GPS tagging project was launched in six police force areas (Avon and Somerset, Cheshire, Gloucestershire, Gwent, Humberside and West Midlands). It sees all burglars, robbers and thieves in those areas who have served a prison sentence of a year or more automatically fitted with a GPS tag on release, allowing their whereabouts to be monitored by satellites 24 hours a day for up to 12 months. This will be extended to a further 13 police force areas (Bedfordshire, the City of London, Cumbria, Derbyshire, Durham, Essex, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, the Metropolitan police district, North Wales, Nottinghamshire and Sussex) in the Autumn.
- Alcohol monitoring tags, which detect alcohol in the sweat and are currently fitted to the ankles of those serving community sentences related to alcohol-fuelled crimes, will also be extended to prison leavers in Wales as we explore how alcohol tags can help the probation service monitor and change the behaviour of those released on licence from prison.
Significant work is already underway across the government and law enforcement to bear down on all types of crime. The plan also sets out how we will build on existing work, including by:
- investing over £130m this year to tackle serious violent crime – including murder and knife crime. We are using data-driven policing in violence hotspots and working with preventative Violence Reduction Units to stop violence before it takes young lives
- shutting down county lines and protecting those exploited by drugs gangs – our £65m investment since November 2019 has already seen more than 1,100 lines closed, over 6,300 arrests made, and more than 1,900 vulnerable people safeguarded
- investing in the future of young people and intervening early to divert them away from a life of crime, including through the £200m 10-year Youth Endowment Fund
- publishing an Economic Crime Plan and backing it with £80m to stop fraudsters in their tracks
- we have passed the landmark Domestic Abuse Act and are publishing a range of bespoke strategies which recognise the complexity of these crimes. This includes the violence against women and girls strategy, which is built on over 180,000 responses to a public call for evidence following the tragic death of Sarah Everard, and upcoming domestic abuse strategy
- we have introduced the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill to equip the police with the powers and tools they need to keep the public safe, while overhauling sentencing laws to keep serious sexual and violent offenders behind bars for longer, and placing greater emphasis on rehabilitation to help offenders turn their lives around and prevent further crimes
- the Counter-Terrorism and Sentencing Act represents the biggest shake up of terror sentencing and monitoring in decades - giving the courts, police and security services greater powers to protect the public and ending the prospect of early release for anyone convicted of a serious terror offence
- our Prisoners (Disclosure of Information About Victims) Act – known commonly as ‘Helen’s Law’ – came into force in January. It places a legal duty on the Parole Board to consider the anguish caused by killers and paedophiles who withhold information on their victims when considering them for release – meaning they could spend longer behind bars
- the new Victims’ Code came into force 1 April 2021 – boosting the support for victims at every stage of the criminal justice system and paving the way for new legislation to strengthen victims’ rights even further
- we are also addressing hate crime online, including by expanding the Football Banning Orders regime to cover online racists who abused England footballers following Euro 2020
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