Boris Johnson pledges to increase prison sentences for violent and sexual crimes

  • Boris Johnson pledges to increase prison sentences for violent and sexual crimes

Boris Johnson pledges to increase prison sentences for violent and sexual crimes

Prison reform campaigners have slammed Boris Johnson's proposal to "come down hard" on violent and sexual offenders as a bid to win votes.

As well this alternative community sentences are being beefed upped.

"His proposed sentencing reforms ignore evidence that shows that longer prison sentences are ineffective at deterring crime or reducing re-offending".

He has promised £2.5 billion to create 10,000 more prison places and £85 million to help the Crown Prosecution Service manage its caseload.

"For years, Labour and Tory ministers have made sentences longer and longer, without any evidence that they prevent crime", she said.

Liberal Democrat justice spokeswoman Wera Hobhouse said the United Kingdom already had the largest prison population of any country in Western Europe and that a different approach was needed.

Earlier on Sunday he announced another 10,000 prison places, at a cost of 2.5 billion pounds ($3 billion), and said police would be given more powers to stop and search the public.

Liberal Democrat justice spokeswoman Wera Hobhouse echoed the views that lengthening sentences simply overcrowds prisons and wastes public money.

But shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon said the measures "fall woefully short of what is needed to make our prisons safe".

Writing in an article for the Mail on Sunday, Mr Johnson announced that a pilot scheme which provides police with greater powers to search people for knives would be rolled out nationwide.

Mr Johnson will highlight the approach at a Downing Street round table bringing together leaders from the police, probation and prison sectors on Monday.

He told the roundtable - which included Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick and Director of Public Prosecutions Max Hill QC - that "faster justice" was needed but "you can not just arrest your way out of a problem".

The UK has seen a rise in knife crime this year, and Johnson has called for tougher sentencing for those carrying knives as well as for "serious sexual and violent offenders".