With the elections for Police Commissioners now almost upon us, a few words from our London MEP Gerard Batten on law and order that were presented at the recent UKIP conference…..
The majority of crime goes undetected and unpunished. Most criminals have to commit many crimes before they face even the slightest risk of being caught, let alone of conviction and a court sending them to prison. It is the responsibilty of the government to protect the public and minimise the risk of their becoming victims of crime. The government is failing in that duty.
There are problems with policing, but undoubtedly the biggest problems in tackling crime lie with The Crown Prosecution Service, the courts, and the jurisdiction of The European Court of Human Rights.
Policing and The Crown Prosecution Service
The Police Service should be re-designated as a Force. Victims of crime are not customers who can take their business elsewhere if dissatisfied with the ‘service’ they receive.There must be no cuts to the police budget or the number of officers. UKIP should reject the Winsor report. Police functions should not be privatised for the benefit of private profit, reducing the police to some kind of paramilitary force.
The entire Police budget for England and Wales is half that of our foreign aid budget. There is not a lack of funds, only wrong spending priorities by the government. We should not give aid to countries with atomic weapons and space programmes while starving the police of resources.
The Crown Prosecution Service should be abolished and the decision to prosecute returned to the Police and their prosecution lawyers. The decision should rest on the quality of the evidence against the accused and not the cost of doing so, or the failure of a prosecution adversely impacting on someone’s statistics.
A judge has praised criminals for their ‘courage’ in burgling peoples’ homes and courts give endless ‘second chances’ to serial criminals. Sentencing doesn’t mean what it says,only a fraction of a sentence is served; In many cases, unpaid fines do not result in further action being taken against the convict.
Sentences should mean what they say, and if we need more prisons then we should build them. If we can waste billions every year on membership of the European Union we can find the money to protect ourselves from criminals. Prisons may or may not reform criminals but they certainly protect the public while the criminal is inside.
The concept of releasing violent criminals when they are deemed to be ‘safe’ should be abandoned, no criteria exists to enable any ‘expert’ to say for certain if this is the case. This is proved by the hundreds of victims of violent crime committed by released criminals. Some criminals, such as The Moors Murderers, should remain in prison for life.
Life sentences for murder,rape and serious assaults should carry a minimal and substantial term of imprisonment laid down by Parliament. Conviction for two, or possible three, serious violent crimes should result in a life sentence that means life, with release possible only when the criminal is too old to re-offend.
Criminals only rehabilitate when they are tired of going to prison. Convicts can earn modest amounts of money through prison work and they should have to pay a proportion of that for the right to self-improvement courses in prison which would aid any genuine desire to rehabilitate and show their commitment to investing in their future.
While we rightly value and protect the independence of the judiciary,judges must be held to account for bad sentencing decisions that fail to protect the public. We cannot tolerate judges who praise criminals, are habitually deficient in sentencing, and undermine the faith of the public in the ability of the courts to protect them.
The European Union
To do any of these things we need to restore the freedom of action we have surrendered to various European institutions. We have to remove ourselves from the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights. We have the to restore control of our borders to prevent the entry of foreign criminals, and regain the right to deport them. This can only be accomplished by unconditional withdrawal from the EU.
As the UKIP Spokesman on Home Affairs, this is a summary of the policies that I have submitted to the Leadership and National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Party for their consideration as part of our general policy review.
1 – The first responsibilty of the Government and the criminal law system is to protect the public and minimise their risk of becoming victims of crime. The police should be re-designated as a Force not a Service. Police budgets should not be cut. They should be freed from false accusations of ‘institutional racism’ , unnecessary bureaucracy and paperwork which impede them from preventing and detecting crime.
2 – The Crown Prosecution Service should be abolished and the decision to prosecute returned to the Police and their prosecution lawyers.The decision to prosecute should rest on the quality of the evidence against the accused and not the cost of doing so.
3 – UKIP would build as many prisons as are necessary to house convicted criminals.No votes for prisoners. The law-breakers should not help to choose the law-makers
4 – Sentencing should mean exactly what it says: A year should mean a year, five years should mean five years. No parole or time off for good behaviour.They are not imprisoned to be ‘cured’. Their reform is in their own hands. Criminal activity in prison should result in time being added to sentences.
5 – Convicts should earn money through prison work and pay for the right to self-improvement courses in prison which would aid their genuine desire to rehabilitate.
6 – Judges should be held to account for bad sentencing decisions that fail to protect the public.
7 – Repeal laws that restrict free speech in relation to comments on ideology and religion. UKIP rejects the idea of ‘hate crime’ on the basis that we are all equal under the law, and this should apply not only to criminals but also to their victims. The Police must not prioritise the investigation of a crime based on the perceived motive of the criminal alone.
8 – Leave the European Union and regain controlof our borders, allowing us to prevent the entry of foreign criminals. Resile * from all the institutions and instruments that are creating an oppressive EU system of criminal law that is destroying our centuries old protections under English law. (* – Resile – To pull out from an agreement, contract, statement, etc)
9 – Resile from the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights, and repeal the Human Rights Act. These have both prevented us,on many occasions, from dealing effectively with criminals and terrorists.
10 – Foreign criminals should be immediately deported on completion of their sentence; Or where arrangements can be made with their home country, we should pay their government for them to serve their sentence there. These would be cost effective for us and, in most cases no doubt, less convivial for the criminal.
Gerard Batten at the recent UKIP Conference in Birmingham.
Gerard is a founder member of UKIP and the party spokesman on Immigration and Home Affairs. He is currently a UKIP MEP (Member of the European Parliament) for London.
For more information, visit www.gerardbattenmep.co.uk