December 5, 2019

Revealed: Labour’s plan to let criminals avoid prison

Labour’s policy to scrap prison sentences of under six months would lead to a surge of offenders on our streets, risking public safety.

A new report from the Conservative Research Department has found that under Corbyn’s Labour, almost 40,000 fewer criminals would have gone to prison last year – this represents almost half of all custodial sentences.

By scrapping short sentences, thousands of criminals whom the public would regard as deserving a prison sentence would no longer face jail, such as those committing knife crime, theft, burglary and drugs offences.

Based on the most recent official data, under Corbyn’s Labour:

  • Almost 40,000 fewer criminals would have gone to prison last year.
  • 8 in 10 of those sentenced for knife crime last year would avoid prison – with 1,200 more offenders remaining on our streets.
  • More than 8 in 10 convicted thieves would avoid prison – meaning nearly 500 fewer thieves jailed last year.
  • More than 9 in 10 would-be burglars would avoid prison – with 268 fewer criminals jailed.
  • Prison sentences for possession of dangerous drugs would be all but abolished. Only 65 criminals would have faced jail last year – just 1 per cent of those convicted for drugs offences.

In addition, there is evidence to suggest that Labour’s determination to be soft on crime would not end there, and could even be extended to even more serious offenders.

Their top team have repeatedly spoken out against tough prison sentences, perhaps best summed up when Corbyn told the House of Commons that he was against ‘a tough sentencing policy’. He has repeatedly used his position over the years to personally work to try and secure softer sentences for criminals.

With this approach to crime it is unlikely that they would end at the abolition of short sentences if they get into power. Even the most serious criminals could see more lenient punishments under a Corbyn-led government.

Commenting, Robert Buckland, Justice Secretary, said:

“Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour would let tens of thousands or criminals avoid prison. They simply cannot be trusted to govern the country and keep our streets safe.

“A Conservative majority government will keep people safe with 20,000 new police officers, 10,000 more prison places and a new Sentencing Bill. Unlike Labour, we trust our judges and magistrates to use their sentencing powers appropriately, and we will always provide the prison places needed to hold those sentenced by the courts.

“Labour are soft on crime, and would spend the next year on the chaos of another two referendums. Only a vote for Boris Johnson and the Conservatives will get Brexit done and keep our streets safe.”

Region Labour's Pension Tax (£) Extra Months to Work
England 11,167 44
East Midlands 6,150 50
Greater London 12,871 45
North East 9,758 38
North West 6,835 47
South East 14,270 40
South West 7,407 45
West Midlands 10,729 41
Northern Ireland 13,718 35
Scotland 10,653 41
Wales 11,691 36
United Kingdom 11,253 43

Commenting, Therese Coffey, Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions, said:

“Corbyn’s Pension Tax will see ten million savers facing a huge bill forcing them to delay their retirement for almost three and a half years.
“This is just one of the ways a Corbyn government would hammer hardworking people on top of his plans to hike up taxes by £2,400 a year, as well as the cost of his plan for unlimited immigration and the chaos of 2020 being dominated by two more referendums – one on Brexit and another on Scottish independence.
“Only Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party can get Brexit done with a deal, get parliament working again and turbocharge our economy to unleash Britain’s potential.”

Read more about how this Pension Tax will impact millions of savers (PDF)