Do the manifesto claims stack up?

Friday, 26 May 2017

Do more police officers cut crime? Are tough community sentences a realistic alternative to prison? These are some of the questions considered in the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies' latest report.

Assessing the 2017 General Election Manifestos, the first in a new series of UK Justice Policy Review Focus briefings, scrutinises some of the main manifesto pledges by the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats.

In this Focus briefing, three questions are posed in relation to each of the pledges considered:

  • Do the proposals have a clear purpose?
  • Is there any evidence to back them up?
  • Are there good grounds for believing that they will be beneficial?

In general, most of the pledges are found to be wanting: lacking evidence, a clear purpose or good grounds for believing that they will benefit the public.

Richard Garside, the Centre's Director and author of this UKJPR Focus briefing, said,

Crime and justice has not so far featured as a major topic of debate in this General Election. But it is important that the pledges are subject to proper scrutiny.

Promises to increase police numbers, toughen up community sentences, or build more prison places, if implemented, will have real world consequences. Yet there is no real evidence that any of them will deliver the promised benefits. Worse still, they could well be damaging and counterproductive.

The UKJPR Focus series supplements our annual UK Justice Policy Review reports, offering additional in-depth analysis of criminal justice policy and data developments.

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