We are opposed to the death penalty for all crimes, and would vote against any attempt to reintroduce it. We will also lobby internationally to stop the death penalty in other countries.
We are opposed to the removal of British citizenship as a sentence for committing criminal offences, which may leave individuals stateless. We also reject the suggestion of denying entry into the UK for British citizens suspected of committing offences abroad without having undergone due criminal proceedings. Where reasonable suspicion of such a criminal act occurs it should be investigated for possible prosecution within the criminal justice system.
We will end the unwinnable war on drugs. Recreational drug use will be decriminalised under a program of regulation. We aim to implement a drug tax on recreational drugs that can be purchased and use the proceeds to enhance rehabilitation services and safe needle exchange. Any fines for improper use (such as use in a public environment) will also go towards this. We hope to see a marked decrease in the number of overdoses, drug-related homelessness, crime, HIV contractions and drug related poverty.
At a national level, we aim to legislate on this matter, changing key pieces of primary legislation, while using the ministerial mandate to change secondary legislation and practices in areas such as policing, the NHS, customs and revenue, and education.
This will be staged, and in a managed, harm based strategy advised by the medical and scientific communities as well as other knowledgeable parties (such as charities who manage addiction based harm, and current and ex-substance users). This will allow us to steadily put in place infrastructure, services, advice, training, and good working practices around each drug as it is decriminalised, allowing for the development and roll out of a comprehensive harm reduction system.
With specific regards to the Psychoactive Substances Act, a more pro-active stance will be taken, with a far more rapid addition of classes of psychoactive substances to the white list. This will allow for individuals to access these substances on a clear informed consent basis. This change will allow communities such as the gay community and the Nootropics community to be free from being criminalised. We will then remove the Psychoactive Substances Act entirely.
While on a local level primary legislation is somewhat out of reach, there are many ways local councils, NHS bodies, and emergency services, can work on a harm reduction basis.
Within the council, safe and known areas for trading in substances can be set up, literature on safer and informed consent around drug use can be produced, procured, and distributed, harm reduction education and drug amnesty policies can be implemented in schools (focusing on post 13 education), addiction management and confidentiality policies can be implemented within social services.
Within the police, the position of Police and Crime Commissioner would allow for nullification of drug legislation through non-enforcement. This would be done in a coordinated manner with other public service organisations, allowing for a managed reduction in drug based policing. This would primarily focus on drugs with a low potential for harm, such as cannabis and MDMA as suggested by neuropsychopharmacologist David Nutt. This would be supported with drug testing kits being made available to users at key locations, allowing for less unpredictable behaviour due to being provided with the wrong substance. This lowering of policing in the area of drugs with a low potential for harm will allow for resources to be better used in other areas as wanted by the community.
The NHS has a key role to play locally, as education, treatment, training, and more honest responses from users will all allow for faster and more effective treatment and long term care for drug users. GPs surgeries and clinics are key places to distribute information, provide testing services or kits, and collect important anonymised data to allow for the better provisioning of services targeted at drug users.
With the emergency services, the current harm reduction pathway, specifically that seen within the ambulance services, has seen lives saved due to the enabling of friends and relatives to give relevant information to emergency personnel with no threat of reprisal. The expansion and diversification of this strategy, specifically with regards to personal use, may well allow for preventative measures and information, such as the fitting of fire alarms in users residences and information around the fire dangers around smoking, to be delivered to otherwise reluctant users, potentially resulting in fewer house fires etc.
With a comprehensive strategy allowing for strategies at all levels and areas of local government, we hope this will allow us to effect change in a productive manner wherever we are elected.
All regulations on production of pornography in the UK are to be repealed, barring those that would expose the material to those below the age of consent, or allow images of those below the age of consent of a sexual nature into adult stores or anywhere else, or those that prevent those below the age of consent being involved in a sexual or erotic capacity in pornography production or distribution. Pornography that is explicitly stated to be non consensual would be illegal. These regulations criminalise the actions of consenting adults and entire subcultures, such as bans on production of BDSM pornography, and are more fit for a theocratic nation than a democracy.
Sex work is to be completely legalised (barring sex work for those under the age of consent) and active outreach work will be taken to destigmatise, but not encourage people into, this line of work. In line with this policy, sex work is to be practiced in regulated brothels and brothelkeeping would be legalised, and though sex work in the home would not be encouraged, it would be legal for the worker to do so and it would be illegal to solicit the services of a sex worker for money in an unregulated environment. Brothels would be run by non-profit sex worker charities receiving donations from taxes, and it would be illegal to employ in a brothel where a precondition of doing so is agreeing to give a portion of your earnings to the management or staff of the organisation, ensuring that the workers won’t be exploited for profit, and that they keep what is vital for them to survive. The use of sexual protection would be mandatory at these establishments, and abortions would be provided without charge, as it is under the NHS.
If not previously established, a 24/7 freephone number will be formally established to report abuse specifically of sex workers and will add to the myriad of techniques currently utilised by law enforcement to avoid this happening. This will contribute to the ongoing battle against human trafficking and abuse of sex workers.
All frontline Police officers will be equipped with personal cameras for the potential reduction in complaints and violence1
Expand the role of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) to include all security companies that have been privately-contracted by the government, such as G4S.
A single, secular oath will replace the current options for witnesses in all court proceedings.
Specifically outlaw religious courts, such as Sharia Law courts, by banning their operations within and outside the legal system. Support the One Law for All campaign.
Integrate juries into the various magistrate courts, so that everyone, regardless of crime or ability to appeal, may have the right to trial by a jury of their peers.
A review will be carried out into the composition of juries, especially for complex trials.
Implement rigorous legal protections for whistle-blowers.
“Wearing a Badge, and a Video Camera”:, New York Times, April 6, 2013: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/07/business/wearable-video-cameras-for-police-officers.html ↩