Labour Party policy on crime and antisocial behaviour: How we will take back our streets

Keir Starmer talking to two Police Community Support Officers.

Labour has a straightforward plan for policing and criminal justice.

When you call the police, they should come. When you report a crime, it should be properly investigated. Justice should be delivered and criminals should be punished. Prisons should not be academies of crime. These are not outlandish expectations. They are the basics of a safe, secure, law-abiding society.

Labour’s mission in government is to take back our streets, with ambitious aims to halve serious violence, tackle the scourge of violence against women and girls, and rebuild public confidence in policing by getting police back on the beat.

The Tories have failed to deliver law and order

Instead of delivering law and order, the Tories 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.

Antisocial behaviour blights society, with drug misuse, fly-tipping and off-road biking increasing in our communities, alongside an epidemic in shoplifting in our town centres.

Labour will tackle crime and antisocial behaviour

  • Crack down on antisocial behaviour with more neighbourhood police
  • Tough new penalties for offenders
  • A plan to get knives off our streets
  • A specialist rape unit in every police force
  • A new network of Young Futures hubs

These plans are fully-funded by ending the tax breaks private schools enjoy and a Police Efficiency and Collaboration Programme.


How Labour will take back our streets

Read the Labour Manifesto 2024

Keir Starmer talk to a police officer by a beach.

As a first step, 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 will introduce a new Neighbourhood Policing Guarantee, restoring patrols to our town centres by recruiting thousands of new police officers, police and community support officers, and special constables and putting 13,000 extra neighbourhood police and PCSOs on the beat. Every community and resident will have a named officer to turn to when things go wrong.

Labour will introduce tough new Respect Orders – powers to ban persistent adult offenders from town centres, which will stamp out issues such as public drinking and drug use.

How Labour will introduce tough new penalties for offenders

Even when criminals are found guilty, the sentences they receive often do not make sense either to victims or the wider public. This is particularly worrying for offences against women and girls. Labour will carry out a review of sentencing to ensure it is brought up to date.

Labour recognises that prisons are of national importance and therefore will use all relevant powers to build the prisons so badly needed. This will deal with the issue of judges being advised to delay sentencing.

Labour will ensure knife carrying triggers rapid intervention and tough consequences. Every young person caught in possession of a knife will be referred to a Youth Offending Team and will receive a mandatory plan to prevent reoffending, with penalties including curfews, tagging, and custody for the most serious cases.

To get knives off our streets Labour will ban ninja swords, lethal zombie-style blades and machetes, and strengthen rules to prevent online sales. Executives of online companies that flout these rules will be personally held to account through tough sanctions.

Labour 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 will 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 will put specialists in the court system to support rape and domestic abuse victims and set up specialist courts at every Crown Court location in England and Wales to fast-track rape cases.

How Labour will prevent crime and give young people the best start in life

Labour will introduce a new 10-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 them falling into crime.

Labour will also introduce a new offence of criminal exploitation of children, to go after the gangs who are luring young people into violence and crime.