A Conservative government would carry out a ‘fundamental review’ of legal aid, and introduce measures to ‘rebuild confidence’ in the criminal justice system, it said in its manifesto published today.
The manifesto, An invitation to join the government of Britain, promises to look at alternative methods of legal aid funding.
It also pledges to review and reform libel laws to protect freedom of speech, reduce costs and discourage libel tourism.
The party says it will fight back against the ‘crime and anti-social behaviour that blights our communities’, taking steps to ‘reduce the causes of crime’ and ‘put the criminal justice system on the side of responsible citizens'.
It claims that violent crime against the person has risen sharply under Labour, while police officers spend more time on paperwork than they do out on patrol. David Cameron’s party will redress this by introducing tougher measures against knife crime and cutting ‘paperwork to get police out on the street’, the manifesto says.
The party pledges to ‘rebuild confidence in the criminal justice system so that people know it is on the side of victims and working for law-abiding people not criminals’.
It will ‘introduce honesty into sentencing’ and examine the case for greater parliamentary scrutiny of sentencing guidelines so the public is confident their views are accounted for in deciding sentences, it says.
While recognising the need for criminal sanctions like ASBOs and fixed-penalty notices, the manifesto describes these as ‘blunt instruments that often fail their purpose of deterring people from committing more crime’.
A Tory government would introduce a series of early-intervention measures, including ‘grounding orders’ to enable the police to use instant sanctions to deal with anti-social behaviour.