10 January 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Lib Dems: Fight against upskirting is far from over
  • Nine prisons overcapacity by more than 50%

Lib Dems: Fight against upskirting is far from over

Responding to data revealing that incidents of upskirting have been reported to the police at a rate of almost one a day since it became a specific sexual offence, Liberal Democrat MP Wera Hobhouse, who originally proposed the Bill, said:

This horrifying statistic serves to show how necessary a change in the law was. Victims across the UK were failing to get justice and perpetrators of the crime were walking free.

The change to make upskirting a specific sexual offence has not only given protection to victims and punishment to offenders, but it has shown how widespread the crime is.

The Conservative government must now do everything it can to prevent sexual offences from happening in the first place, such as through better sex and relationship education in schools, as the fight against upskirting is clearly far from over.

Nine prisons overcapacity by more than 50%

The Liberal Democrats have called on the Government to end “pointless” short prison sentences, as new official figures show that nine prisons are overcapacity by more than 50%.

The extent of overcrowding in prisons is revealed today in the Ministry of Justice’s latest Prison Population bulletin. It shows that, as of the end of 2019, there are 68 prisons in England and Wales (58%) where the number of prisoners exceeds capacity.

This includes nine prisons whose population exceeds capacity by more than 50%:

  • Leicester
  • Durham
  • Swansea
  • Wandsworth
  • Lincoln
  • Leeds
  • Pentonville
  • Preston
  • Exeter

Commenting on the figures, Liberal Democrat Justice Spokesperson Daisy Cooper said:

Prisons are in crisis. With overcrowding at these levels, it’s little wonder that violence, self-harm, suicide and drug use are so common.

Overstretched staff simply can’t cope. That means prisoners aren’t being rehabilitated, resulting in high re-offending rates and more victims of crime.

The Conservatives’ sentencing plans will only make the problem worse. They will mean more prisoners and more overcrowding, while doing nothing to actually prevent crime.

If the Government is serious about cutting crime and making our communities safe, they must end the pointless short prison sentences that cause overcrowding and actually make people more likely to reoffend.

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