Labour Party Conference: Blunkett Blueprint to Cut Crime Branded 'Low Key'
Byline: David Barrett, Joe Churcher and James Lyons
Home Secretary David Blunkett announced extra funding for counter-terrorism policing, new prison places and an acceleration of the controversial community support officers scheme yesterday.
He told the Labour Party conference in Brighton that an extra pounds 90 million would be spent on Special Branch police next year, allowing additional elite officers to be recruited in the fight against terrorism.
But the speech was criticised as 'low key' by the leader of one of Britain's biggest trade unions.
Mr Blunkett said 'weekend' jails will be rolled out further following a pilot scheme which began in Lancashire and Lincolnshire in January.
'Intermittent' prison terms allow offenders to spend either weekdays or weekends at home so they can continue jobs and family commitments.
In addition, Mr Blunkett announced pounds 100 million to provide 1,300 prison places in existing jails over the next year, plus funding for an extra 1,650 probation officers and 150 support staff across England and Wales over the next two years. He will also allocate pounds 50 million between now and April to recruit 2,000 new police community support officers - civilians with limited police-style powers - while sustaining record numbers of police officers, which reached a new record of 139,728 in August.
The Home Secretary also formally announced that yob families who have been evicted or are close to eviction are to face tough action.
Ten areas, including Birmingham, will run intensive parenting programmes to tackle 'neighbours from hell', using a combination of parenting orders, injunctions and AntiSocial Behaviour Orders.
The worst offenders may have to take part in a compulsory residential course to improve their behaviour. …