Socialist Worker

New police powers will mean more bullying cops

Issue No. 2765

The Tories want to give more powers to cops on the street

The Tories want to give more powers to cops on the street (Pic: Guy Smallman)


After pushing their racist borders and nationality bill, the Tories have moved on to increasing state repression.

The government published new plans to put more police onto the streets and remove any conditions on stop and search powers.

They say their Beating Crime Plan is about “levelling up” areas of the country they deem to be troublesome.

Rules for cops will be permanently relaxed to “empower police to take more knives off the streets”.

That means they’ll have more freedom to stop and search people at will—a power used disproportionately against black people.

The proposals also intend on expanding electronic monitoring tags for people released from prison—and even alcohol tags to monitor how much they drink.

And they will make unpaid work by offenders, such as cleaning the streets and public spaces, “more visible”—and more humiliating. The Home Office says half of all homicides last year were drug-related. So the Tories are using this to criminalise alcohol and drug users.

They’re not interested in addressing why people turn to drug and alcohol abuse in the first place. The plans will throw £31 million at police to target gang leaders leading the drugs trade.

This money could be used to rehabilitate people, rather than punishing them with a prison sentence.

Knife crime panic - how politicians and the press aim to give more power to the cops
Knife crime panic - how politicians and the press aim to give more power to the cops
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Johnson said the government “cannot level up the country when crime hits the poorest hardest and draws the most vulnerable into violence”. But instead of tackling the roots of crime and poverty, the plan includes increased prison sentences and 20,000 extra cops.

Increased police powers don’t make ordinary people safer—they just mean young, black and working class people face more bullying and harassment from the cops.

A recent study by the Runnymede Trust found that black people are nine times more likely to be stopped than white people.

It said that in the year to March 2020, cops’ use of stop and search increased for the second year running.

Yet only 4 percent of section 60 stop and searches resulted in an actual arrest, and three quarters ended with cops taking no further action.

Meanwhile, the Labour Party is worried the plans won’t work—but only because cops are “demoralised” after not receiving a pay increase this year.

The Tories have no intention of solving poverty or helping the poor—their priority is to keep ordinary people in line with as much control as they can have.

The police and the Tories are the biggest criminals of all.


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