Yvette Cooper hits out at Tory ‘laissez-faire’ approach to crime

The shadow home secretary sought to bridge calls for social justice with the party’s policies on law and order and borders.

27 September 2022

Yvette Cooper hit out at the Tory’s “laissez-faire” approach to crime and said under the current Government “there is no justice”.

The shadow home secretary told the party’s conference in Liverpool that Labour would provide 13,000 additional police and PCSOs, work with France to prevent small boats crossing the Channel, and crack down on “criminals who lure young people into violence”.

She also sought to bridge calls for social justice with the party’s policies on law and order and borders, saying: “Labour knows that you don’t get social justice if you don’t have justice and you don’t feel safe.

“Inequality and poverty corrode people’s security, and security is the foundation on which all other opportunities are built.

“So Labour will always stand up for the security of our nation, our borders, and our communities.”

Attacking the Tory record, she said: “In 94% of crimes now no-one is charged. Time and again no-one pays the price, there are no consequences, there is no justice.

“Now, the Conservatives want us to think that none of this is their fault.

“But it was their policy to slash the police, the youth services, the courts, their policy to show no leadership on standards, and to divide our communities, pitting people against each other.

“This is a laissez-faire approach that isn’t an accident, it is Tory ideology.”

She mocked the Conservative claim to be the party of law and order, saying their record on home affairs is “grim” and that Boris Johnson should have said he “had a party, broken the law and created disorder”.

Labour Party Conference 2022
Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper is applauded after her speech at the Labour Party conference (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

She also said Labour “cannot stand” for the justice system’s current record on rape, saying her party would tackle the “epidemic of violence” against women and girls, with plans including putting domestic abuse experts into 999 control rooms and rape investigation units in every force.

Committing to increasing police numbers, she said: “We will take action to rebuild neighbourhood policing. I can today announce a fully funded £360 million programme to put 13,000 additional police and PCSOs into community teams, so that people can be confident someone will be there to help keep them safe.”

And Ms Cooper committed to ensuring the immigration system is “fair and firm and properly managed”

“Unlike the Tories, we will work with France to prevent dangerous small boats crossing the Channel and putting lives at risk with a new cross-border police unit to crackdown on the criminal gangs who make millions from trading in people and profiting from their lives, paid for by cancelling the deeply damaging, extortionately expensive, unworkable and unethical Rwanda plan,” she said.

She also promised a crackdown on county lines and organised crime, saying: “The next Labour government will bring in a new law to crack down on criminals who lure young people into violence. We will outlaw the exploitation of children for crime.”

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