We Can Cut Crime: Liberal Democrats launch crime campaign today

We Can Cut Crime logoAt 11.45am today Ming Campbell (a former prosecutor himself) and Nick Clegg are launching the party’s spring “We Can Cut Crime” campaign. The website is already live at http://www.wecancutcrime.com/, where you can read the “5 steps to a safer Britain” programme and sign the petition.

You can also watch Nick and Ming talking about the campaign:

A campaign pack full of example artwork, ideas for press releases, photos and other useful material is on the party’s extranet: www.libdems.org.uk/extranet

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  • Albeit in brief:

    “We would treble the number of prisoners working and make education and training compulsory. We would expand drug and alcohol treatment programmes and use £1.5 billion earmarked for prison building to fund more secure/semi-secure mental health treatment.”

  • Also, from Ming’s speech:

    “And for those with serious mental health problems there will be increased provision of secure mental health services”

  • Agree with ColinW to a point, we do need to be radical. However when I have suggested this before on other forums I have been shot down for it being suicidal. I agree that while you may lose some voters you will win and energise a legion of others.
    Not sure on the drugs issue but agree on prostitution and many others we could do to be distinctive.
    The other problem is with Ming the front man I think we would look rather ridiculous presenting some of this stuff, we have plenty of others who could front any radical ideas much more viably than Ming.

  • Dave McCullough 22nd Jan '07 - 3:14pm

    ColinW, are you in favor of votes for prisoners?

  • I think LiberalNeil is right here: this is a campaign launch and promotes general themes, and is not a detailed policy paper. We do need to flesh out the details a bit and explain how our policies fit within these general themes.

  • Dave McCullough 22nd Jan '07 - 3:37pm

    nothing to do with being liberal or not. there is no justification in this within liberalism, whats more it is one of the weakest policies the party has ever had and is the kind of thing that people in Tory HQ lick their lips at which is why it always appears in Tory leaflets and why we got stuffed against the Tories at the last election (especially in the SE where this kind of thing really resonates.

  • Antony Hook 22nd Jan '07 - 8:16pm


    With respect, It don’t think it’s fair for you to say everyone who disagrees with you is a populist or worse.

    There’s a perfectly respectable argument that if society determines an individual’s can’t be trusted to walk the streets (ie. we imprison them for a serious crime) we shouldn’t trust them to take part in electing the legislature.

    That is not a view formulated “at the drop of a tabloid”.

    I think this campaing looks really excellent, and I agree it will especially be welcome in the South East.

  • Jeremy Hargreaves 22nd Jan '07 - 9:54pm

    I’m very pleased that I’ll be able to go back to the Policy Committee and report that there’s so much demand for more detailed policy papers….:)

    In fact there will be a policy paper on crime on the agenda for Spring conference in Harrogate – I think the paper should be with those registered for conference within a couple of weeks.

    I don’t think it will meet Colin’s demands for most crimes to be abolished, and it won’t cover every area mentioned here. But of course existing policy remains policy – for example on drugs.

    Jeremy Hargreaves
    (Vice Chair, Federal Policy Committee)

  • Sosinadin Sosinasai 22nd Jan '07 - 11:44pm

    I really do not see that there is a justifiable reason for denying the franchise to prisoners. In the days when the right to vote by post was restricted, one could complain about the cost. But now that anyone can claim a postal vote without cause, that won’t wash. The punishment is losing one’s liberty and being confined in a filthy jail where one is routinely abused, physically and verbally. Giving prisoners the vote is hardly being “soft”. Providing cordon bleu catering might be.

    We really need to get out of our heads the idea that the ASBO has anything whatsoever to do with the suppression of “anti-social behaviour”. That is just the pretext for introducing this legal monstrosity into our criminal justice system. The ASBO criminalises any behaviour which a magistrate deems worthy of suppression – palm tree justice at its most dangerous. And on the civil standard of proof. Once we understand this, the penny drops. The ASBO is a legal device to enable the state to silence anyone it considers a threat to itself or to the elites it protects. It might be troublesome journalists, MPs, peace activists, or maybe racial, religious and sexual minorities. Depending, of course, on who it is who happens to be running the state at the time.

    The ASBO has failed in its declared object of suppressing anti-social behaviour. Of course it has. That was never its purpose. Anyway, crime is useful to elites. It is usually the poor who suffer, and it makes it easier for the state to extend its powers over individuals.

    By the way, who has spent the last 37 years fuelling the fear of crime? Yes, you’ve guessed it. A certain Australian born US citizen who lives in Florida.

  • I cannot believe some of the stuff on the website. Not my kind of thing at all – and the poster who said the Tories must be cheering about this is probably correct. I agree ColinW this is more Campbell populist nonsense (like the tax policy too) – pandering to wavering Tories and the bloody Daily Mail. The people who need to get it sorted are those advising our Leader.

  • Liberal Neil 23rd Jan '07 - 9:53am

    I’m still at something of a loss to understand which of the five policies we are promoting in this campaign are illiberal.

    Are folk suggesting that it is illiberal to scrap ID cards and use the money to pay for more community police officers instead?

    Or to ensure that prisoners work or train, a proven way to reduce reoffending rates?

    Or for better compensation for victims?

    Or that local communities should be able to close down pubs and clubs that encourage drunken behaviour?

    Or that sentences should mean what they say?

    All of these fit very well with liberal principles as far as I’m concerned. Perhaps ColinW or someone else can explain how they contradict liberal principles.

    And I fully agree that ASBOs have failed. That’s why so many Lib Dem authorities have done them differently and better.

    As for votes for prisoners – personally its not something I lie awake worrying about at night – I think dealing with the educational and mental health issues that affect many prisoners is a much more important issue – and even if I did feel strongly about it I still wouldn’t expect it to be one of the issues we highlighted in a campaign about how we can cut crime.

  • Yes, finding work for prisoners is a good idea in principle. But remember. The state does absolutely nothing to find employment for honest people (from Jobcentre Minus onwards). Until that changes, people will quite reasonably resent such provision accorded to criminals.

  • I fail to see what’s wrong with this.
    Its not populism, its plain common sense.

    And to say the tax policy was populist- that just seals the case against you for decrying anything you disagree with as populist.

    Life should mean life, but it should be a sentence only given to you if the intention is for you to serve life.

    ASBOs- I fully agree they’re wrong, they undermine the rule of law.

    Helping prisoners with training – this is only necessary because the state has failed in the duty its taken on to provide everyone with an education.

    Finding jobs: Its not the state’s place to help people find jobs. For released prisoners there’s a good case for easing them back into society – just as there is for soldiers.

    Votes for prisoners – I don’t care. They have forgone their liberty – their fundamental human right not to be coerced. Why should a non-fundamental right to vote not be withheld from them?

    Radicalism is all fair and good (actually, the tax proposals were reasonably radical – hence the opposition from the more conservative ‘radicals’ in the party), but if we start saying things like legalise all drugs as a party then we’re finished. We need to persuade people to our point of view, and there is definitely a place for those of us who are not party hierarchy to campaign on our interests – such as the end of the prohibition on drugs, but the country is not yet ready for a mainstream party to come out and say that.

  • Tristan says: “Its not the state’s place to help people find jobs.” Really? Jobcentre Minus has a catchphrase it puts on all its promo material: “The work you want, the help you need.” Trouble is, the work doesn’t exist, and Jobcentre Minus has never lifted a finger to help anyone.

    On prisoners and the franchise, Tristan says: “They have forgone their liberty – their fundamental human right not to be coerced.” Er… not quite. Prisoners only lose those rights which have been expressly removed from them by statute. The taking away of the right to vote requires objective justification, and I cannot think of one.

  • It's a two-horse race 25th Jan '07 - 11:50am

    “And for those with serious mental health problems there will be increased provision of secure mental health services”

    Bet he’ll be sending Sandra Gidley to one. But what about alcoholics?

  • More please, more. You’re doing such a good job promoting the image of the Tory party with comments like that 🙂

  • It's a two-horse race 25th Jan '07 - 12:57pm

    Charles Kennedy, Mark Oaten, Simon Hughes et al are already doing a good job on that front…


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