The Liberal Democrats have today passed new party policy which would mean a comprehensive new approach on drugs.
The plans come alongside wide ranging plans to reduce crime set out at the Liberal Democrat conference in Glasgow, and against a backdrop of falling crime figures since the party entered government.
The Liberal Democrats are planning a comprehensive new approach to drugs based on the latest evidence, which will target the supply of illegal drugs while diverting drug users into treatment, education and civil penalties.
As a first step, Liberal Democrats would immediately end the use of imprisonment for possession of drugs.
The party also plan to tighten the laws on stop and search meaning that a judge would have to approve the establishment of a stop and search area. There would also be a requirement for some police officers to wear body cameras when they stop someone under Section 60 powers.
The party’s members voted to pass the new policy paper which also includes measures to:
- outlaw ‘revenge porn’
- harsher punishments for those convicted of hate crime against LGBT+ and disabled people
- greater use of restorative justice for crimes where it’s proven to help cut crime
- increase funding for tackling gangs
- improve recognition and treatment of mental health conditions in the justice system.
Commenting Norman Baker MP, the Liberal Democrat Crime Prevention Minister said:
"With the Lib Dems in government, crime has fallen but we need to do more to tackling reoffending. The policies we have passed at conference today make it clear that Liberal Democrats will continue to take action to tackle crime and focus on what works.
"We want to prevent crimes from happening in the first place, which is why we are tackling mental health problems and drug and alcohol misuse. It’s also why we are challenging offenders to face up to their crimes with more restorative justice and community payback."
"We have also ensured that the party will focus on crime-related health issues, including widening the scope of medical conditions for which medicinal cannabis can be prescribed."
Julian Huppert MP, the Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesman, added:
"When it comes to tackling crime it is easy to talk tough. But talking tough doesn't deliver results, and it is right that we are putting what works at the heart of this Liberal Democrat policy paper.
"In some cases this means introducing tougher sentences, or even new laws. But it is also about using our resources more intelligently and intervening early and stop crimes being committed in the first place."