Boris Johnson Creates 10,000 New Prison Places - 'I Want Criminals to Be Afraid'
UK Prime Minister pledges new crack down on crime in Britain
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has vowed to increase stop-and-search powers for police while creating 10,000 extra places in prisons, declaring he wants “criminals to be afraid – not the public.”
The new jail cells will be created by building new prisons while developing existing ones.
Johnson calls the move “long overdue” and will invest up to £2.5 billion ($3 billion).
The Prime Minister added his pledge would ensure he follows through on campaign promises to “properly punish” criminals.
Johnson wrote in the Mail on Sunday he wanted to “improve the criminal justice system and make sure criminals are serving the time they are sentenced to” after it came to light that some prisoners were automatically released halfway through their sentences due to overcrowding.
But the PM is also accused of ignoring the causes of crime and pushing Britain, which currently has the largest rate of imprisonment in Western Europe.
The plan was deemed “great for headlines but crap for justice” by Labour MP David Lammy.
Labour’s shadow policing minister, Louise Haigh, argued that Britain’s criminal justice system is broken because of “Tory austerity, not ‘left-wingers.’”
🗣️ Prime Minister @BorisJohnson: "Today we're announcing another 10,000 places in our prisons; a big building program for prisons."— Conservatives (@Conservatives) August 11, 2019
📰👉 Read Boris's article on our plan to drive down crime across the country: https://t.co/inNjUardDO pic.twitter.com/HHox3zmUis
The UK already has the highest rate of imprisonment in Western Europe. It has a terrible record on rehabilitation.— Natalie Bennett (@natalieben) August 11, 2019
But what does a Tory PM with an election in mind call for?
More of the same failed policies.https://t.co/X2YvbZi6fU
But Johnson's pro-prison rhetoric could o drive up imprisonment numbers, according to the director of the Prison Reform Trust, Peter Dawson.
He said the latest figures suggest it would take 9,000 new spaces to reduce overcrowding.
“We know the aggressive rhetoric of ‘prison works’ invariably drives up the use of imprisonment long before the capacity to deal with that has been created,” Dawson told the Independent.
“Half-baked policy on prisons always runs up against inconvenient reality. Tough rhetoric is no substitute for understanding the evidence,” he added.
Johnson said that a pilot scheme that allows officers to stop and search potential criminals would be expanded to 43 forces across England and Wales.