01:16, June 07 329 0 theguardian.com

2017-06-07 01:16:03
The Lib Dems would introduce a regulated market for cannabis


For a former home secretary, Theresa May has few radical or tougher ideas for further criminal justice reform. Three existing forces are to be merged into a national infrastructure police force and the Serious Fraud Office taken into the National Crime Agency. Despite their lack of strong public mandate, elected police and crime commissioners would have their role extended with places on local health and wellbeing boards and more responsibility for budgets. Prison reform would go ahead, along with a new national community sentencing framework, which suggests an acknowledgement of some of the problems facing the probation service. “Dedicated provision” would be introduced for female offenders. Victims’ rights would be enshrined in law, making clear what they should expect from police, courts and the criminal justice system.

On immigration, the manifesto makes clear the cost of hiring a foreign-skilled worker would become much more expensive with the annual skills charge doubling to £2,000 a head by 2022 and the health surcharge would treble to £600.


The old Blairite slogan of “tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime” earns an unexpected reprise in Jeremy Corbyn’s 2017 manifesto but rather like the last Labour government it quickly reduces that breakthrough formula to “more police officers” in this case. 10,000 more police officers to work as beat officers. Diane Abbott may have had a spot of bother explaining the funding behind the plan but the background papers show it has been properly costed. It also wants a victims’ law and it would set up a national refuge fund to ensure stability for rape crisis centres. New private prisons would be banned and jail would be regarded “as the last resort”, yet 3,000 more prison officers would be recruited. The role of community rehabilitation companies would be reviewed in light of the failure of the part-privatisation of the probation service.

On immigration there is little indication of future Labour policy. An extra 1,000 border guards would be funded, May’s “bogus” net migration target scrapped and a migration impact fund set up.

Liberal Democrats

Previous commitments to replace police and crime commissioners and a presumption against short prison terms are renewed, with a fresh pledge to introduce a legal, regulated market for cannabis, accompanied by the repeal of the Psychoactive Substances Act and moving responsibility for drugs policy from the Home Office to Health. The Lib Dems would put an extra £300m a year into community policing to address the rise in violent crime and boost the flow of community intelligence. All frontline officers would be required to use body-worn cameras. There’s a promise to transform prisons into places of rehabilitation but pledges from previous elections to scale back the prison building programme are absent.


There is no mention of crime, policing, victims, the courts, prisons or probation in the Green party’s manifesto. There is a statement that “the internet should be free of state and corporate surveillance, with our rights and freedoms protected”.

On immigration, the party promises “a humane immigration and asylum system that recognises and takes responsibility for Britain’s ongoing role in causing the flow of migrants worldwide”.