Speaking at the Police Federation’s Annual Conference, Theresa May MP – the Home Secretary – stated that “life [imprisonment] should mean life [imprisonment]” for anyone who murders a police officer.
May wants to see whole life tariffs imposed on those found guilty by a Court of Law of murdering an officer.
“The murder of a police officer is a particularly appalling crime,” said the Home Secretary. “To attack and kill a police officer is to attack the fundamental basis of our society. We ask those officers to keep us safe by confronting and stopping violent criminals. We ask them to take the risks so that we don’t have to. And sometimes they’re targeted by criminals because of what they represent.”
The Home Secretary continued: “This is why I can announce that, subject to consultation with the Sentencing Council, the Government will change the law so that the starting point for anybody who kills a police officer should be a life sentence without parole.”
The Home Secretary told delegates at the event in Bournemouth that Government reforms are helping to improve policing and praised officers for their hard work in helping to cut crime by more than 10% since the coalition Government came to power.
In addition, May pledged to carry on reforming policing by making it easier for officers to cut crime and catch criminals – including slashing yet more bureaucracy and red tape and improving the police service’s use of modern technology.
Expansion in the number of offences to be prosecuted
The Home Secretary stressed her complete trust in the ability of officers to do their job without interference and announced an expansion in the number of offences the police can prosecute in court without calling in the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
“I know that dealing with the CPS on minor offences wastes a great deal of your time, and I know how frustrating that can be,” commented the Home Secretary.
“I will increase the scope of police-led prosecutions to include shoplifting of goods worth £200 or less. That means up to another 50,000 prosecutions being led by the police – cases that will be dealt with faster and more effectively.”
May added: “Last week, we introduced legislation in Parliament that will make this happen. It will reduce the amount of time you have to spend waiting for CPS lawyers, end the duplication of paperwork and put you back in charge of these cases.”
Federation representatives also heard how the Home Secretary is determined to end the situation where police officers are effectively acting as ambulance drivers or social workers when called upon to deal with those suffering from mental health problems.
May said work is being carried out in conjunction with the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to improve the medical response to mental health. This initiative could save up to 25% of police officers’ time and vastly improve the treatment of those who need it.