The shadow home secretary, Diane Abbott, has said Labour will pursue a policy to close down law-abiding, licensed businesses and turn them into an “extrajudicial” police force tasked with waging “war on crime”.
Labour plans to propose new powers to establish a publicly-funded “bailiff force” to close off neighborhoods where violent crime is concentrated, and a new criminal offence of “crime offense in pursuit of property”.
“As the Conservatives drag us away from our values, Labour will continue to deliver an approach which is tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime, and tough on the rich who can afford to pay their way,” Ms Abbott wrote in an article for The Guardian.
A Labour government would introduce a levy for businesses to pay for armed private detectives, to spy on business premises and work with gangs, Ms Abbott said.
The announcement comes after Theresa May’s government proposed last year to relax license requirements in order to tackle violent crime. The government argued that the need to “disengage with the law” meant that a “solution” would be to reduce the number of existing licensees. Critics were not persuaded, arguing that the new legislation will further entrench criminality.