Jeremy Browne is a Liberal Democrat Minister of State at the Home Office
Under the Coalition Government, crime is at its lowest level since independent records began. That’s fewer homes burgled and possessions stolen; fewer communities blighted by vandalism; and fewer people hurt, or killed in violent attacks.
Lots of people predicted that in tough economic conditions, crime would go up, as it always has done in the past. But it hasn’t and we should be proud of that fact. It has been achieved without excessive bureaucracy or increasing intrusion.
Keeping crime and the fear of crime down is a key part of the fairer society Liberal Democrats are in politics to build.
That’s why, in Government, Liberal Democrats have been at the forefront of a Rehabilitation Revolution.
For years, the Liberal Democrats have argued that you only truly break the cycle of crime when you cut re-offending. We are determined to reduce both its economic and social costs.
Labour talked tough on crime, but appeared to believe that a ballooning prison population was a good thing. Be tough on crime, yes. Be tough on the causes of crime, yes. But none of it matters unless you are tough on breaking the cycle of crime too.
That’s why, in our Offender Rehabilitation Bill, we are extending rehabilitation measures to the most frequent re-offenders – those who serve sentences of 12 months or less.
And today Nick Clegg announced that the small companies and organisations that we know are so effective at delivering rehabilitation services will have extra support and money from the Government to ensure they are able to get fully involved in this new system.
These are Liberal Democrat policies – debated at and approved by our Autumn conference in 2012 and being delivered in Government.
You can read Nick Clegg’s speech in full here.