‘CRIM­I­NALS WE ARE COM­ING AF­TER YOU’

Home Sec­re­tary Priti Pa­tel pledges new crack­down on the crime blight­ing Bri­tain’s streets

Daily Express - - FRONT PAGE - By Macer Hall Po­lit­i­cal Ed­i­tor

HOME Sec­re­tary Priti Pa­tel will to­day warn law break­ers: “We are com­ing af­ter you!”

At the Tory con­fer­ence in Manch­ester, Ms Pa­tel, in­set, will un­veil a £10mil­lion plan to arm po­lice with Tasers and crack down on “county lines” drug gangs. Longer jail terms for mur­der­ers and rapists will also show the Con­ser­va­tives are still the party of law and

order. In her un­com­pro­mis­ing con­fer­ence speech, the se­nior Cabi­net min­is­ter will de­clare an end to soft-touch polic­ing and launch a na­tion­wide fight against crime.

Her ral­ly­ing cry to the Tory faith­ful is in­tended to show that crime­fight­ing has moved on from David Cameron’s “hug-ahoodie” ap­proach.

The Home Sec­re­tary has also told al­lies she is de­ter­mined to pro­vide “gen­uine lead­er­ship” to the coun­try’s front­line po­lice of­fi­cers af­ter the “in­de­ci­sive” stew­ard­ship of Theresa May.

Ms Pa­tel is ex­pected to tell the Tory con­fer­ence that she will un­equiv­o­cally back bob­bies on the beat as the Home Of­fice drive to re­cruit 20,000 more of­fi­cers gath­ers pace.

She will also de­clare that the time has come for the Tories to re­claim their tra­di­tional rep­u­ta­tion as a gen­eral elec­tion looms. She will say: “Mar­garet Thatcher knew that if you made the British peo­ple your com­pass, if you took time to un­der­stand their lives and their pri­or­i­ties, your di­rec­tion would al­ways be true.”

The Home Sec­re­tary, who comes from a fam­ily of Ugan­dan Asians, will also draw on her own her­itage. She will say: “This daugh­ter of im­mi­grants needs no lec­tures from the north Lon­don metropoli­tan lib­eral elite on how our coun­try is en­riched by – and bet­ter for – be­ing in­ter­na­tion­al­ist.

“So, as we re­new our place as the party of law and order in Bri­tain, let the mes­sage go out from this hall to­day.

“To the British peo­ple, we hear you. To the po­lice ser­vice, we back you. And to the crim­i­nals, I sim­ply say this: we are com­ing af­ter you.”

Ms Pa­tel – who squeezed an ex­tra £400mil­lion out of the Trea­sury to make good on Boris John­son’s pledge to hire 20,000 more po­lice of­fi­cers – will fo­cus her speech on giv­ing of­fi­cers stun guns.

Ear­lier this week, she said: “I’ve been com­pletely ap­palled by the re­cent spate of se­ri­ous as­saults on po­lice of­fi­cers, which is why I’m giv­ing chief con­sta­bles the re­sources to dra­mat­i­cally in­crease the num­ber of their of­fi­cers who carry Tasers.”

She will also sig­nal a ma­jor of­fen­sive against the “county lines” gangs that re­cruit young­sters to take drugs from ma­jor towns and cities to ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties across the coun­try.

Ms Pa­tel, who took over at the Home Of­fice in July, is un­der­stood to have been ap­palled by the pre­vi­ous cul­ture of waste and in­ac­tion in the depart­ment.

She be­lieves com­pla­cency and a PC at­ti­tude to law en­force­ment set in un­der for­mer PM Tony Blair.

Ms Pa­tel has now or­dered root-and-branch re­views of pro­ce­dures through­out the depart­ment in an at­tempt to re­turn to the no-non­sense polic­ing of the Thatcher era in the 1980s.

Get­ting tough...Priti Pa­tel

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