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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 December 2006, 11:20 GMT
Lib Dems pledge to reduce crime
Sir Menzies Campbell
Sir Menzies said people deserved a safe and secure environment
The Liberal Democrats have attacked Labour for presiding "over the wholesale degeneration of our criminal justice system".

Party leader Sir Menzies Campbell accused ministers of failing to deal with high re-offending rates, violent crimes and public fear of crime.

He promised "positive and pragmatic" measures to improve law and order.

Speaking at the end of his first year as party leader, Sir Menzies asked members to be "strong and motivated".

'Angry'

He called on them to suggest ideas for cutting crime, by suggesting local initiatives which could be used nationwide.

In his address, Sir Menzies added: "It makes me angry when I meet people up and down the country who have had their lives ruined by crime.

"We all want to live in a safe and secure environment. I am determined that our party should use next year as an opportunity to show how we can make that happen."

He said: "Labour has presided over the wholesale degeneration of our criminal justice system: overcrowded prisons; one of the highest reoffending rates in the western world; falling conviction rates for serious violent crimes like rape; high levels of public fear of crime and antisocial behaviour; a demoralised probation service; and constant attacks by the government on judges."

Sir Menzies also accused the Conservatives of lacking law and order policies.

Last month, the Lib Dems called for a mass repeal of laws passed by Labour since 1997.


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