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Local MP attacked over failure to back Crime Fighting Plan

February 10, 2007 8:58 AM
Houses of Parliament Westminster in London

"It is extraordinary that Sally Keeble and her Labour colleagues could not bring themselves to vote for these sensible measures."

Local Labour MP Sally Keeble is under fire over her failure to back a Liberal Democrat plan to cut crime.

The Liberal Democrat proposals were put to a vote in the House of Commons but were voted down by Labour MPs, with Conservative MPs, including Northampton South MP Brian Binley, not bothering to vote at all.

Andrew Simpson, Liberal Democrat parliamentary spokesman for Northampton North Constituency, said:

"If we've learnt one thing from Labour and Conservative governments in the last twenty years, it is that tough talk alone doesn't tackle crime. We've had ten years of a Labour government talking tough, but failing to act. Violent crime has doubled and conviction rates have never been lower. Before that we had a tough talking Conservative government that cut the number of police!

"That's why the Liberal Democrats' new "We can cut crime!" campaign is about effective action on crime. Our proposals to cut crime are principled and practical: making prison work to cut repeat crime; giving victims fair compensation; using money for more police, not ID cards; honesty and transparency in sentencing.

"It is extraordinary that Sally Keeble and her Labour colleagues could not bring themselves to vote for these sensible measures. After ten years of tough talk and soundbites from the Labour government, while the Home Office stumbles from one disaster to the next, it is clear that Labour haven't managed to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour. Isn't it time for a new approach?

"Too many local people are living in fear of crime and are worried to go out after dark. Too many people are having their lives ruined by anti-social behaviour. It's time to fight back. And that's exactly what the Liberal Democrat crime plan would do."

Anyone interested in finding out more about the Liberal Democrat proposals to cut crime, or practical measures to make your home safer, should look at our website - www.wecancutcrime.com.

Notes

Full text of Liberal Democrat motion put to the House of Commons, 07/02/07 -

GOVERNMENT'S RECORD ON CRIME

That this House

• notes the increasing evidence of a crisis in the criminal justice system, with

o excessive levels of prison overcrowding,

o failure to tackle rising reoffending rates,

o unacceptable breach rates of the Government's anti-social behaviour measures,

o widespread public fear of crime and the judiciary's concern over Government sentencing policy;

• believes that a new direction in Government policy prioritising administrative competence over media-driven legislative initiatives is urgently required;

• calls on the Government to make prison work by

o tripling the numbers of prisoners doing paid work and

o making education and training compulsory, with

o contributions from earnings going towards a victim compensation fund;

• calls for measures to allow sentences to mean what they say;

• further calls for the abandonment of the expensive identity cards scheme to allow funding for a sustainable increase in police numbers;

• urges the Government to divert money allocated to the latest prison building programme towards the expansion of secure and semi-secure mental health treatment facilities; and

• further calls on the Government to

o increase the use of restorative community justice panels to help reduce repeat crime,

o increase the use of rigorous and visible non-custodial sentences as a viable alternative to short-term prison sentences and

o change licensing provision to give local communities greater say over the closure of pubs and clubs which contribute to alcohol-fuelled violence.

Ends

Contacts:

Cllr Andrew Simpson Home: 01604 634539 Work: 01908 296621

Mobile: 07973 560432 E-mail: asimpson@cix.co.uk