Truss vows to tell forces to cut crime by 20% and ‘police streets, not Twitter’

The Tory leadership hopeful wants to publish league tables showing how effectively police forces are tackling serious crime.

26 July 2022

Liz Truss has pledged to publish police league tables while asking forces to slash serious crime by 20% if she wins the race for No 10.

The Tory leadership hopeful also said she wants police to “spend their time investigating real crimes, not Twitter rows and hurt feelings”.

If she becomes prime minister at the beginning of September, Ms Truss said her Government would tell police to cut homicide, serious violence and neighbourhood crime by a fifth by the end of this parliament.

She would release crime rate statistics showing how each force is performing against the national average, with leaders of underperforming ones forced to set out plans to improve.

Ms Truss also wants every domestic burglary to be attended by a police officer in person.

In her bid to win over Tory members before they start voting for their party’s leader next week, the Foreign Secretary said she would give police and crime commissioners more powers to “veto training that focuses on identity politics”.

Free speech would be protected in the code of practice governing hate incidents, she said.

Ms Truss said: “People across our country want criminals locked up, and crime prevented, so they feel safe on their streets.

“We and our fantastic Conservative police and crime commissioners have made good progress since the 2019 election, with over 13,000 new police officers on the streets and the increase in powers and resources having a real impact in communities around the country, but we now need to go further and faster.

Conservative leadership bid
Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss clash in Monday’s BBC Tory leadership debate (Jacob King/PA)

“It’s time for the police to get back to basics and spend their time investigating real crimes, not Twitter rows and hurt feelings. People can trust me to deliver and these league tables will help hold the police to account – making our streets safer and our country more prosperous.”

The Commons Public Accounts Committee recently warned that the Home Office faces “significant challenges” in hiring another 6,500 officers by next March to reach the Conservative manifesto target of 20,000.

MPs on the powerful committee criticised the programme’s focus so far “on getting people through the door” without setting out how the new officers’ impact on crime will be assessed.

(PA Graphics)

A Truss campaign source said: “Burglars, thugs and murderers should expect to be taken off our streets and thrown behind bars, but it’s unfortunate that some chief constables are not cracking down as hard as they should be.

“Liz will hold their feet to the fire, and these newly published statistics will help the public do the same.”

A campaign spokesperson for Rishi Sunak said: “A lightweight plan based on publishing data the Government already does and a power grab away from Police and Crime Commissioners, including many excellent Conservative PCCs driving down crime in their area.

“The real way to get crime down is more police on the streets, which is why Rishi Sunak has prioritised funding to get these 20,000 new officers by the next general election.

“And on ‘non crime hate incidents’, we don’t need a code of practice. Things are either illegal or legal. Free speech is legal and the police should not be wasting time getting involved, and they won’t in a Rishi Sunak government.”

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