Federal Policy Committee
Mover: Rt Hon Sir Edward Davey MP (Spokesperson for Home Affairs).
Summation: Vicki Cardwell (Chair of the Policy Working Group).
Conference believes that a fair society must tackle crime effectively - preventing crime and ensuring people feel safe are crucial to achieving social justice, as it is the poorest and most vulnerable who suffer most from crime and benefit most from good policing.
Conference notes with concern that:
- Violent crime, organised crime, burglaries and robberies are all currently rising.
- The Conservative Government has cut £1 billion from police budgets since 2015, stretching forces to the point that they can no longer provide an effective service.
- Conservative cuts to local government have forced councils to cut spending on youth services by an average of 40% since 2015.
- That despite the clear racial bias in deployment of Stop and Search powers and the significant resentment caused by their often arbitrary usage, the Conservative government has pledged to expand their use and weaken senior officers’ oversight of their deployment.
Conference believes that:
- The police need to be given enough resources to restore effective community policing, tackle increases in violent and gang-related crime, and respond to burglaries and robberies.
- To prevent crime, we must understand what drives people to commit crime and intervene at the earliest possible opportunity.
- Civil liberties must be protected; especially as new technology becomes available to the police.
- Police forces should not be required to pick up the pieces of other struggling services.
- The overwhelming majority of honest, hardworking police officers and staff should be supported and that their commitment should be recognised, while their leaders should be held accountable for effective service delivery.
- Our goal should be not only to make people actually safer, but also to make people feel safer so they can live, work and rest free from fear.
Conference endorses policy paper 138, United Against Crime, and particularly calls for:
- A major investment in community policing, providing funding for two new police officers for every ward in the country.
- Investment in mental health services, to ensure that people get the help they need and to ease the pressure that mental health crises places on the police.
- Additional resources to end youth violence, including promoting diversionary schemes and building genuinely innovative and engaging youth services.
- Substantial extra funding for the National Crime Agency to combat serious organised crime.
- The creation of the new Online Crime Agency to effectively tackle online crimes such as personal fraud and threats and incitement to violence on social media.
Conference also calls for:
- The building of a police service that is fit for 21st century challenges, by:
- Recognising that violent crime is a public health emergency that requires more than just a police response: it needs the police to work in partnership with youth, educational and health services to tackle the problem.
- Ensuring that British police retain access to the European Arrest Warrant and data-sharing systems, and continue the UK's leadership role in Europol, by stopping Brexit through a People's Vote.
- Immediately halting the use of facial recognition surveillance by the police and regulate any use of data and artificial intelligence by the police through primary legislation that ensures it is unbiased, transparent and accurate, and that it respects the privacy of innocent people.
- The freeing up of the police to focus on cutting crime, by:
- Investing in mental health services so that they can properly support people and introducing a target of one hour for people to be transferred from the police into the care of a mental health service.
- Supporting all police forces to reach minimum levels of training in mental health response and ensuring that all polices forces have mental health practitioners in the control room 24/7.
- Reviewing the impact of police officers that are dedicated to working with missing persons with a view to recruiting more officers for this role.
- When a child is reported missing from care, having a funded requirement for Children's Services to assess the reasons behind this and put a plan in place to prevent it happening again.
- Government to show it values the police, by:
- Implementing in full the recommendations of the independent police pay review, funded by central government, and introducing a presumption that future recommendations will be funded by the government.
- Encouraging all police services to introduce the Blue Light Framework for wellbeing and providing all officers with proactive mental health assessments every six months.
- Working with the police to improve training of staff so that they are better placed to adapt to the changing demands of 21st century policing.
- Introducing a police apprenticeship scheme.
- The introduction of effective measures to cut crime and ensure people feel safe, by:
- Making youth diversion a statutory duty so that every part of the country has a pre-charge diversion scheme for young people up to the age of 25.
- Embedding teams of trauma-informed youth intervention specialists in A&E departments to prevent young people being caught in the cycle of serious violence.
- Training youth workers, teachers and police officers to understand the significance of adverse childhood experiences and how to respond to young people who have experienced them.
- Establishing a Breaking the Cycle Fund to test innovative approaches to prevent the most vulnerable becoming victims of crime.
- Extending Community Safety Funds to invest in communities and supporting the establishment of community groups to bring together representatives of local charities, faith and belief groups, voluntary and community organisations, public sector organisations and businesses that would work with police and local authorities, to ensure that people feel safer and can lead their own lives free from fear.
- Ending the disproportionate use of Stop and Search.
Applicability: England and Wales; except 2. a) (lines 64-67) and 2. d) (lines 75-78) which are England only.
Mover and summation of motion: 16 minutes combined; movers and summation of any amendments: 4 minutes; all other speakers: 3 minutes. For eligibility and procedure for speaking in this debate, see page 4.
The deadline for amendments to this motion is 13.00 Monday 2 September; see page 6. Amendments selected for debate will be printed in Conference Extra and Monday's Conference Daily. The deadline for requests for separate votes is 09.00 Sunday 15 September; see page 3.
In addition to speeches from the platform, voting members will be able to make concise (maximum one minute) interventions from the floor during the debate on the motion. See pages 3 and 4 for further information.