Protecting our Neighbourhoods

24 Sep 2023

Everyone deserves to feel safe in their own homes and walking down their own streets. For too many people in the UK, however, that is simply not the reality today. 

Under this Conservative Government, police resources have not been used effectively, leaving frontline policing over-stretched and under-resourced. Over half of people now say they never see police on foot patrols in their neighbourhoods, up from a third in 2015.

Money is wasted on expensive, ineffective Police and Crime Commissioners, while thousands of PCSOs are taken off the streets and just 12% of officers are assigned to frontline neighbourhood teams. 

As a result, our communities are plagued by violent crime, burglaries, fraud and anti-social behaviour. High rates of unsolved crime embolden criminals, making them feel like they can get away with it. 

Every day last year, an average of 5,700 crimes went unsolved across England and Wales. Only 1 in 20 crimes led to a suspect being charged or summoned.

Public trust in the police is essential for policing by consent. Building that trust requires confidence that the police will respond to and properly investigate local crime.

The damning revelations in the Casey Report, authoritarian anti-protest laws and disproportionate Stop and Search tactics against minority communities have all added to the erosion of public trust in the police. 

We can fix our policing - and rebuild confidence in our communities.

Liberal Democrats are calling for a return to proper community policing - a plan which actually works to tackle crime and restore trust. Today, Liberal Democrat members have passed a comprehensive, credible plan to deliver this.

Returning to community policing

  • Free up existing officers’ time to focus on local crime, through measures like the creation of an Online Crime Agency and streamlining tasks which take up a disproportionate amount of officers’ time;
  • Draw up a national recruitment, training and retention strategy to tackle the shortage of detectives;
  • Scrap Police and Crime Commissioners and invest the savings in frontline policing instead. 

Rebuilding public trust in the police

  • Implement recommendations from the Casey report on vetting and misconduct procedures;
  • End the disproportionate use of Stop and Search;
  • Introduce mandatory police training on the impact of trauma on victims of violence against women and girls;
  • Repeal the draconic and unworkable Public Order Act 2023.

Liberal Democrats want to see a return to proper community policing, where officers are visible and trusted, with the time and resources to focus on solving and preventing local crime. 




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