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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 September 2007, 15:01 GMT 16:01 UK
In full: Jacqui Smith speech
Here is the full text of the speech which Home Secretary Jacqui Smith gave to Labour's annual party conference in Bournemouth.

Thank you, Chair, and thank you, Conference. It's been a really good debate.

Jacqui Smith
The Tories "won't deflect us", Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said
I'm pleased that my great ministerial team - Tony McNulty, Liam Byrne, Meg Hillier, Vernon Coaker and Alan West - are here to listen this morning.

There are few more fundamental rights than our right to safety and security.

That was brought home to me very quickly, very clearly, just after Gordon gave me this job, with attacks on London and Glasgow.

As those hours and days unfolded, I was struck by the bravery and professionalism of our emergency services - including police officers, who we remember this Sunday on National Police Memorial Day.

But above all, I was impressed by the calm and steadfast reaction of the British public.

First impressions last, they say. And they have crystallised for me a deep sense of why this right to safety and security is so important.

It's the foundation in which our way of life, in all its variety and diversity, is grounded. And it's the platform on which our values and our freedoms rest.

Tolerance, and respect for others. A deep-rooted sense of fair play. The belief that together we can make a difference. The free expression of these values is what we wish to protect.

And it's because we share these values that we will seek consensus on new measures to counter the threat of terrorism.

At the same time, we will do more to support communities as they build understanding and prevent extremism.

Delivering security is not a challenge that is confined to countering terrorism.

It also means protecting our identity, securing our borders, and ensuring that people can feel safe in their homes and their neighbourhoods as well, so that they and their families can get on with their lives.

And we are making progress.

Violent crime at its lowest for a decade. Record numbers of police, working with thousands of community support officers. The chances of being a victim of crime at their lowest for 25 years.

Of course, tragic events rightly make us question if we're doing all we can.

But to suggest - as David Cameron and David Davis have - that Britain is a broken society, that there is anarchy on our streets, is just plain wrong.

The two Davids. What a pair they make.

While one was on manoeuvres with the Territorial Army, the other was plotting midnight raids on Eton's tuck shop.

One's famous for his stranglehold grip. The other wants to be known for hugging hoodies.

But I'll tell you what. Neither of them has got a grip on crime - on its causes, or on its consequences.

Whose interests does it serve to wilfully ignore the progress that is being made? What sort of politics is it to incite fear and alarm?

So I've a suggestion for the theme tune for the Tories' conference next week.

It's not "Anarchy in the UK". It's "Pretty Vacant".

But they won't deflect us from getting on with the job.

People want local community police officers, whose names they know and who work side-by-side with them, day in day out.

Three-quarters of the country now have Neighbourhood Policing Teams - and by April, every community will have one.

With local police stats that give a clear picture of what's happening in our neighbourhoods.

With a new 50m capital fund to give the police access to 21st Century crime-fighting technologies like handheld computers and mobile fingerprinting devices.

But tackling crime and anti-social behaviour in our communities isn't just a job for the police alone - it involves councils and businesses, schools and parents, and voluntary and community groups as well.

So Hazel Blears and I now want to go further, and introduce shared pots of money for local policing that our communities have a say in spending.

Let me be clear. I've zero tolerance of anti-social behaviour, and zero tolerance of its causes.

Causes like alcohol misuse. So from Monday, we are giving councils and police new powers to take the licences away from dodgy premises.

We should give no time to the idea that just because you're drunk and incapable that somehow lets you off the hook.

And incidentally, why celebrate drunken behaviour on our TV screens? Alcohol misuse can cause real damage to real people.

And I've zero tolerance of homes being broken into or bags being snatched to feed a drug habit - and zero tolerance of people not getting drug treatment when they need it.

Together, we've already doubled the numbers of users getting treatment. And drug-related crime has been cut as a result.

That's my approach. Tough enforcement, backed up with prevention and support to help users get their lives together as well as getting their heads together.

And on sexual assault and rape, the same approach.

Better investigation and prosecution of serious sexual offences. Greater support for victims.

And today I am announcing start-up funding for new Sexual Assault Referral Centres in Hull, Liverpool, Plymouth, Rotherham, Gloucester and Cheshire.

Where we need to take targeted action to deal with particular types of crime, we're doing so.

As Gordon spelled out on Monday, we can do more together on guns and gangs - to make sure everything that works is done everywhere it's needed.

In Birmingham, mediation work and civil orders to disrupt gangs. In Manchester, help for young gang members to leave the lifestyle. In London and Liverpool, intelligence-led policing to get gang leaders off the street.

From Monday, tougher measures to raise the age limits for sale of knives, crossbows and air guns, and to ban imitation firearms.

And in Europe, Arlene McCarthy and I are pushing for strict controls on convertible weapons.

We'll make sure that crime won't pay.

This year we'll seize more than 150m of criminal assets. Not just the cash, but the bling, the cars and the plasma TVs that crime pays for.

We'll plough back more of this money into the frontline fight against crime.

In Britain, we will always welcome those who need our protection or who have something to offer. But security in our communities means secure borders as well.

We are giving our new Border Force - fully uniformed as of this week - the tools to deliver rigorous checks at our sea and air ports.

In the next few days we will sign the deal to toughen up the checks we do abroad on passengers travelling to the UK.

This will allow us to count people in, count people out, and prevent those we are concerned about from entering in first place.

We all know that the UK has not been alone in seeing higher levels of migration.

We've seen the benefits, and we've faced the challenges of immigration and asylum head-on.

From March, the points-based system will allow only those with the skills that Britain needs to come here.

We are doubling our enforcement action - protecting workers and preventing exploitation.

Some crime knows no borders. This year might be the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade, but there is now a new form of slavery that we must tackle. Human trafficking.

With the UK Trafficking Centre, we are leading Europe in training police in the best detection techniques.

Last week, Unicef praised our efforts. Next week, we will launch a new crackdown on traffickers. And later this afternoon, I will join actor Emma Thompson as she campaigns to end this vile trade.

Conference, security is not an end in itself. It is the foundation of our values, and of our lives together.

Tolerance and freedom. Fairness and respect. Rights and responsibilities.

That's what Labour stands for. Protecting our communities and securing our future.


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