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Sir Menzies Campbell makes the fight against crime a "priority for my leadership"

May 31, 2006 3:07 PM

The recent speech by Sir Menzies Campbell making the fight against crime a priority for his leadership of the Liberal Democrats has been today (Wednesday 31st May) praised by LibDem Strathmartine Ward Councillor Helen Dick.

Sir Menzies stated that crime was a liberal issue and "the twin pillars of a liberal society are the rule of law and respect for human rights".

Sir Menzies said "A party which is serious about social justice cannot fail to be serious about preventing crime and enforcing the rules.

"I am determined that the Liberal Democrats under my leadership will stand for equality before the law and equality of responsibility under the law."

He argued that there is now a need to look at the creation of a violent offenders register.

"In the light of recent horrific crimes committed by offenders under probation supervision, we must now look seriously at creating a violent offenders register, like the sexual offences register, for all serious violent offenders. It would assist the job of keeping track of the most serious criminals and improve public safety," he said.

Sir Menzies said that those convicted of serious crimes should not have the right to vote while in prison.

"Penalties should go beyond custody. People like Ian Huntley should not have the vote. If you are guilty of a serious breach of the law, you forfeit the right to elect those who make the law.

"In my view, people convicted of serious violent or sexual offences should not have the right to vote while in prison."

Sir Menzies criticised Labour's record on crime.

"Labour has put more people in prison but then let more of them out not because they deserve early release but because of overcrowding. This is not being tough on crime. This is mismanagement and inadequacy."

He said that restrictions needs to be placed on foreign criminals who cannot be deported.

"Undesirable criminals from abroad who have been recommended for deportation should be transferred to serve time in their home country or deported as soon as their sentence ends. If they cannot be deported due to threats to their life, we need to introduce new measures to restrict their freedom of movement and association. Where a dangerous individual cannot be deported due to threats to their life, we should look at legislation to impose restrictions on their residence in the UK," he said.

Locally, Dundee LibDem Strathmartine Ward Councillor Helen Dick said, "I am pleased at Sir Menzies putting the crime issue to centre stage. It is a matter of great concern to many citizens and shows the Liberal Democrats are proactive in tackling the issues that matter to citizens right across the UK."

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