British PM plans 10,000 more spaces in prisons

British PM plans 10,000 more spaces in prisons

London - He insisted on tougher sentencing laws for "serious sexual and violent offenders", as well as for those carrying knives.



By Reuters

Published: Sun 11 Aug 2019, 9:12 PM

Last updated: Sun 11 Aug 2019, 11:27 PM

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has given support to the police's "stop-and-search powers" and also pledged to create "another 10,000 spaces" in UK prisons.
"... I am announcing today that in all 43 police authorities in England and Wales, we are making clear that the police can and should make use of their stop-and-search powers", he wrote in the Mail on Sunday, adding that such a step was needed to combat crime.
Johnson also wrote that Finance Minister Sajid Javid has agreed to spend up to 2.5 billion pounds ($3.01 billion) to create 10,000 additional spaces in prisons.
He insisted on tougher sentencing laws for "serious sexual and violent offenders", as well as for those carrying knives.
"Yes, in the short term it will mean more pressure on our jails, and that is why today I am also announcing that we are creating another 10,000 spaces in our prisons", the prime minister wrote in his column.
According to a BBC report, the British government said the plan showed it was "serious about fighting crime". But Labour's shadow home secretary, Diane Abbott, said "random" stop and search was a "recipe for unrest", the report added.
The government's focus on law and order will add to speculation that No 10 is preparing for an autumn general election, said BBC correspondent Jonathan Blake.
Johnson argued that too many serious violent or sexual offenders are coming out of prison long before they should, and tougher sentences were needed.
"We need to come down hard on crime," he wrote. "That means coming down hard on criminals. We need to reverse the balance of fear.
"I want the criminals to be afraid - not the public."
Home Secretary Priti Patel said: "Stop and search works. We hear again and again from police that [they] need to be empowered."
She said powers needed to be used in the "right, legal and professional way" but they were supported by families of victims of knife crime, from "communities that have suffered so much trauma and pain".


More news from Europe