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WIDDECOMBE PLEDGES THREE STRIKES AND OUT FOR PERSISTENT ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR

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'Jack Straw talks a good game on law and order but he is all talk no action - he says one thing and does another,' ...
'Jack Straw talks a good game on law and order but he is all talk no action - he says one thing and does another,' said shadow home secretary, Ann Widdecombe, today.

Speaking during a visit to the Arden Estate, London, N1, Miss Widdecombe continued: 'Before the election Labour promised to be tough on crime. They promised a raft of measures to clamp down on anti-social behaviour on our streets and in our housing estates.

'The reality of two years of a Labour government could not be more

different. They've cut police numbers by more than a thousand, are letting hundreds of prisoners out early on tagging and have pursued policies like anti-social behaviour orders, so burdened with red tape that the police have only used them in a handful of cases across the country.

'Labour's hollow rhetoric has done nothing to make the lives of thousands of people in our towns, cities and rural communities any better.

'I for one am shocked by the continuing scourge of anti-social behaviour. Offences like assault, vandalism and car theft are continuing to wreck our society and leave people in fear of walking the streets of our towns and cities.

I can therefore announce today that I am considering ways in which

three strikes and out can be extended to incorporate a minimum mandatory sentence for anti-social offences committed by young people.

'The British people do not deserve to see police numbers cut any further. That is why William Hague and I have pledged that the next Conservative government will reverse cuts in our police service and bring them back to the levels that Labour inherited and have since squandered.

'Finally I want to see victims put first. For too long victims have been the forgotten statistics of crime. For that reason we propose to give victims the support they deserve through a named police officer and Crown Prosecution Service representative who will provide regular information updates about the progress of their case.

'The time has come to say enough is enough. Enough hot air, hollow promises and empty rhetoric Jack - they are all part of the great Labour lie. My pledge today is this: Only the Conservatives have the common sense to get tough on crime.'

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