I advocate a policy of targeting under-age drinking and street crime. I believe that social deprivation leads to low aspirations and is a key cause of crime. My immediate seven point action plan is:
1. Less police bureaucracy, more arrests (at present the UK police forces are grossly overburdened with paper work) and more restorative justice.
2. Insisting on more rehab and detox centres to deal with drug and alcohol abuse in Devon and Cornwall, especially centres to cater for those under 21.
3. Speaking out about the causes of crime, particularly poor social conditions and under investment in the region
4. Greater police presence in town centres late on Friday and Saturday nights. More vehicle spot checks. Consistent responses to anti-social behavior.
5. Targeting the alcohol issue.
Our children are vulnerable to the excesses of their own peers in a world in which drugs, alcohol and sex are marketed at a frenetic pace to the very young, both deliberately and inadvertently.
The ease with which the young gain access to alcohol is disturbing, with cheap drink being sold to the under 16s and preloading becoming commonplace. I will campaign to stop the sale of cheap alcohol by supermarkets. Anyone who has ever visited a prison, or worked with the police, will know full well that most, indeed almost all, violent crime is committed by those under the influence of alcohol, or seeking to obtain drugs. Young men in a crowd tanked up on alcohol become dangerous to the vulnerable, indeed to all of us.
I will increase resources for home detox, strengthening the Community Detox Service using resources from the Police Budget if necessary in order to do so.
6. An increase in resources allocated to the prevention and investigation of theft at local level, combined with localised police targets to result in more local policing.
7. Bringing influence to bear to promote better prisoner rehabilitation and an improved probation service. I will reintroduce remand fostering, using resources removed from the Police Budget if necessary in order to do so.
In a very real sense it is because of the need for human dignity that we maintain a Police Force. We need to be able to walk free from the threat of robbery, violence, abuse and fear.
Our basic human rights include the right to walk in the streets of our towns and villages without concern about the need to watch our backs no matter the time of the day or night. The police are not here to fill forms and shuffle paperwork. They are here to keep our society free, to keep our children safe, and to protect life and property from threat of any kind. It is my intention to make sure they are enabled to do just that.