Motion before amendment
Conference believes that:
- Everyone deserves to feel safe in their own home and walking down their own streets.
- High rates of unsolved crimes embolden criminals, making them feel like they can get away with it.
- Public trust in the police is essential for policing by consent, and feeling confident that the police will respond to and properly investigate local crime is key for building that trust.
Conference notes with grave concern that under the Conservative Government, police resources have not been used effectively - and as a result, frontline policing across the country has been left over-stretched, under-resourced, and unable to properly focus on local crime.
Conference further notes that:
- An average of 5,700 crimes went unsolved across England and Wales every day in 2022, with only 5.6% of crimes leading to a suspect being charged or summoned.
- The vast majority of burglaries go unsolved, while more than 45,000 burglaries were not even attended by an officer last year.
- 56% of people reported to never see police on foot patrols in their neighbourhoods as of February 2023, despite the Government achieving the 20,000 officer uplift.
- As of 2022, only 12% of officers across England and Wales were assigned to frontline neighbourhood police teams.
- More than 4,000 Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) have been taken off the streets by the Conservative Government since 2015.
- Over £100 million has been spent to run Police and Crime Commissioners' offices since 2019, despite little evidence they have made the police more accountable to local communities.
- A recent report from His Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) highlighted that police services are overwhelmed and under-equipped to deal with digital forensics.
- Revelations uncovered by the Baroness Casey report, difficult-to-implement and draconian new anti-protest laws, as well as statistics on minority ethnic communities being disproportionately targeted by police stop and searches, have understandably eroded public trust in the police.
Conference therefore calls on the Government to:
- Enable and encourage local forces to restore proper community policing, where officers have the time and resources they need to focus on preventing and solving crime.
- Work with police services to determine what tasks are using disproportionate amounts of police officers' time, and how those processes could be streamlined so that police can spend more time in their communities.
- Set up a new national Online Crime Agency, to better protect people from online crime while freeing up local forces' time to tackle local crime.
- Create a new statutory guarantee that all burglaries will be attended by the police and properly investigated.
- Scrap Police and Crime Commissioners and replace them with Police Boards - made up of local councillors and representatives from relevant local groups - while investing the savings in frontline policing instead.
- Urgently draw up a national recruitment, training and retention strategy to tackle the shortage of detectives.
- Require the Home Secretary, the Mayor of London and the Metropolitan Police Commissioner to draw up an urgent plan to implement the recommendations of the Baroness Casey Review including on revamping vetting and misconduct procedures, while encouraging other police forces to implement those recommendations where appropriate.
- Help rebuild public trust in policing by ending the disproportionate use of Stop and Search, repealing the Public Order Act 2023 and improving access to restorative justice services.
- Introduce mandatory training for police in understanding the impact of trauma on victims of violence against women and girls, so that victims can be better supported and women's trust in the police can start to be rebuilt.
- Make 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, ensuring better outcomes for young people and less strain on police resources.
Applicability: England and Wales.
Mover: 7 minutes; summation of motion and mover and summation of any amendments: 4 minutes; all other speakers: 3 minutes. For eligibility and procedure for speaking in this debate, see pages 110-111 of the agenda.
The deadline for amendments to this motion is 13.00 Monday 11 September. Those selected for debate will be printed in Conference Extra and Sunday’s Conference Daily. The deadline for requests for separate votes is 09.00 on Saturday 23 September.