Keir Starmer and Yvette Cooper with police officers

Take back our streets

Labour believes that security is the bedrock on which opportunities are built, communities can thrive, and local economies can prosper. Security means knowing someone will be there for you if things go wrong, and that laws will be respected and enforced.

But that sense of security has slowly eroded over the past 14 years, with rising levels of violent crime, a knife crime epidemic devastating young lives, and shamefully and persistently high rates of violence against women and girls.

Anti-social behaviour is a blight on society, with drug misuse, fly-tipping and off-road biking increasing in our communities, alongside an epidemic in shoplifting in our town centres. Too often this is dismissed as low-level crime, but it matters hugely to people and hits the very heart of our communities.

At the same time, confidence that there will be any consequences when a crime is committed has collapsed. Too often people fear that when things go wrong, no one will come and nothing will be done. That is the Tories’ abysmal record on crime and justice – criminals laughing at the law and victims paying the price.

Labour will rebuild security on Britain’s streets – with a mission to halve serious violence and rebuild confidence in policing and the criminal justice system.

As a first step for change on our streets, Labour will crack down on antisocial behaviour, with more neighbourhood police paid for by ending wasteful contracts, tough new penalties for offenders, and a new network of youth hubs.

Labour’s pledge to put 13,000 extra neighbourhood police and PCSOs on the beat will give every community a named officer they can get in touch with, so policing gets back to doing what it’s supposed to do.  

A red and white graphic with text reading: Labour's first steps for change 1. Deliver economic stability 2. Cut NHS waiting times 3.Launch a new Border Security Command 4. Set up Great British Energy 5. Crack down on antisocial behaviour 6. Recruit 6,500 new teachers

At a glance: What Labour’s long term crime plan means for you.

  • Guarantee town centre patrols by putting 13,000 more neighbourhood police and PCSOs on the beat, funded by a new Police Efficiency programme on procurement and shared services based on the work of the Police Foundation.
  • Crack down on anti-social behaviour through tough new Respect Orders with criminal sanctions for persistent anti-social behaviour.
  • Fast-track rape cases through the courts and provide legal advocates for rape victims. Rape units in each police force, specialists in every 999 control room paid for by cutting police waste..
  • Give teenagers the best start in life with new youth hubs, containing mental health staff and youth workers to tackle the crisis in mental health, give teenagers the support they need and prevent knife crime.
  • Tackle shoplifting gangs by ending the £200 rule brought in by the Tories which stops shop thefts under £200 being investigated – even if the same gang comes back time and again.

More on our mission to take back our streets:

Action Plan to cut knife crime

Labour's Action Plan to cut knife crime will be tough on knife crime and tough on the causes of knife crime

More here
Keir Starmer and Yvette Cooper with police officers

Labour has a long term plan for crime

Labour will be tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime.

Tackling crime and anti-social behaviour

Labour will put police back in towns centres and neighbourhoods to make our streets safe again, with increased patrols and 13,000 more neighbourhood police and PCSOs.

There will be guaranteed police patrols in town centres, zero tolerance of anti-social behaviour and we’ll give every community a named officer they can get in touch with, to ensure a swift response to crime.

We will also clamp down on shoplifting and violence against shopworkers, making it easier to take action against repeat offenders and creating a new specific offence of assault against retail workers.

Tackling violence against women and girls

Labour will halve levels of violence against women and girls within a decade because everyone has the right to live free from fear.

We will introduce new specialist domestic abuse workers in 999 control rooms and put specialist rape investigation units in every force across England and Wales – so that early opportunities for prevention and protection are not missed.

We’ll require police forces to target dangerous repeat offenders with the tactics and tools normally reserved for counter-terror and serious organised crime investigations, to get serious perpetrators off our streets. And we’ll put specialists in the court system to support rape and domestic abuse victims and ensure that justice is done.

Preventing youth crime

Labour will introduce a new ten-year Young Futures programme, bringing together services and communities to support our young people, including a new national network of Young Futures hubs, with mental health workers and youth workers, to tackle the crisis in youth mental health, to give teenagers the best start in life, and to stop the knife crime that is killing our young people.

Police and criminal justice reform

Labour will rebuild public confidence in policing and the criminal justice system. We’ll turn around the collapse in the proportion of crimes solved by fast-tracking the recruitment of detectives who can solve more complex crimes like fraud, dramatically increasing the pool of prosecutors who can bring criminals to justice, and by building the prisons the Tories promised and failed to deliver.

We’ll reform the police, overhauling vetting and training processes, and introducing new powers to compel failing forces to comply with recommendations from the police watchdog.

Instead of standing up for security, the Conservatives have done the opposite. They have hollowed out neighbourhood policing and taken a wrecking ball to the criminal justice system, so that over 90% of crimes now go unsolved. That means more criminals being let off and more victims being let down. Criminals today are less than half as likely to be caught as they were under the last Labour government. That is the scale of collapse in law and order under this Conservative Government.

This wasn’t an accident – it was the result of deliberate Tory choices. A choice to cut police from our streets, a choice to undermine respect for the rule of law, a choice to chase headlines instead of solutions. And they have failed to modernise a criminal justice system that is simply incapable of meeting the task of tackling crime in today’s world.

As a result, we have a broken criminal justice system. A pitifully low charge rate, soaring court backlogs, and prisons so full that violent criminals are being let out early.

Our communities cannot afford more of the same. Things have got to change.

Keir Starmer and Yvette Cooper set out why Labour will make Britain’s streets safe

Keir Starmer and Yvette Cooper sit down with leaders discuss to Labour’s mission