I understand the concerns raised regarding my support for the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill. As you will be aware, the Bill contains a large number of measures with the central aim of cutting crime and building safe communities.
At the last election, I was elected on a manifesto to restore confidence in the criminal justice system and this Bill delivers that pledge made to my constituents.
This Bill seeks to equip the police with the powers and tools they need to protect themselves and the public, while overhauling sentencing laws to keep serious sexual and violent offenders behind bars for longer, and placing greater emphasis on rehabilitation to better help offenders to turn their lives around and prevent further crimes.
I welcome the fact that this legislation builds on the work already underway across government to deliver a smarter, fairer justice system as the UK builds back safer from the coronavirus pandemic. I am particularly encouraged by the hundreds of millions being invested in our court system to deliver speedier justice and reduce delays. It is also vital that victims receive the support they need and deserve, and ministers are investing unprecedented funding for victims support services. The funding package for the police and the recruitment of 20,000 police officers alongside the £4 billion investment in extra prison places will ensure these reforms are successful.
I am confident that the measures in this Bill are necessary and proportionate. It is important to remember that the Bill is about tougher sentences for the most serious offenders, better protection for the police and a greater focus on ensuring offenders can turn their lives around and rehabilitate back into society.
I hope this response has outlined why I believe this is a fair and balanced approach to the criminal justice system.