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(Return to the manifesto)

  1. Civil unrest, riot and insurrection
    1. As has been the case in this country for centuries, the civil authority may demand immediate support from the armed forces and place those responding units under police command.
  2. Police
    1. Police accountability
      1. It will be a criminal offence for any police officer to be on duty in a public setting without a switched-on sealed and archived bodycam and sound recorder accessible by court order, or for any such record to be destroyed.
    2. What the police are for
    3. The police proactively minimize crime: intelligence-led policing
    4. The police reactively minimize crime: responding to reported crime
    5. Crime is minimized if the police promptly investigate all reported crime, promptly identify everyone responsible and promptly bring them before a court to be successfully convicted.
    6. We will expand police surveillance resources to detect and interrupt crime, and to help investigate reported crime. We regard privacy as less important than effective policing.
    7. The government help to minimize crime by decriminalizing some actions
      1. We will decriminalize the importation, manufacture, retailing, possession and use of narcotic drugs. We note that the SNP followed this manifesto commitment by adopting it for Scotland in July 2023, while the Conservative Westminster government blocked implementation of the SNP's declared intention.
      2. We will tax the sale of narcotic drugs with similar excise rules currently applied to tobacco and alcohol, applying similar quality control law and responsible use requirements to the industry. The focus on the use of recreational drugs should be safety, not prosecution.
      3. We believe this policy will remove criminal involvement from the entire existing drugs chain, and not before time. Criminalizing any activity generates a greater workload on the police, who have more urgent tasks than refereeing county-lines gang activity.
  3. Sentencing after conviction
    1. Current sentencing law is directed toward a range of contradictory goals:
      • Retribution
      • Deterrence of the convict
      • Deterrence of the general public
      • Denunciation
      • Incapacitation
      • Rehabilitation
      • Reparation
    2. We will focus sentencing policy on maximizing rehabilitation. As a working definition, a rehabilitated convict will be no more likely to offend than any other citizen.
    3. Remorse and reparation are important aspects of rehabilitation.
    4. Imprisonment as punishment clearly has little value to society.
    5. Imprisonment, tagging or monitoring to protect society before a potentially dangerous prisoner has successfully been rehabilitated offers a safe environment where necessary.
    6. We will introduce effective voluntary therapy to enable cooperative convicts to re-engage with society at the earliest opportunity, contingent on their continuing successful participation in a rehabilitation program. We believe the new cost-effective factor enabling this process is the ongoing development of such AI therapy and evaluation programs, which we will fund as an alternative to the current scale of the prison service.
    7. We will extend the engagement of AI on the basis of results.
      1. If AI proves to be more capable of rehabilitating volunteers than existing methods, AI will become the preferred system.
      2. Similarly for evaluating progress and determining outcome.
    8. The downside of rehabilitation
      1. There is an elephant in the room, which is a massive extension of monitoring and mental coercion of citizens at the hands of the state.
      2. If a large proportion of convicts meet the criteria for early release - if the intervention of AI is as successful as seems likely - some governments, on the basis of past behaviour, will simply keep the prison population high by expanding the range of offences through legislation. Prisons will continue to be filled, the turnover of the population through the penal system will increase, the remedial interventions will become more and more prone to conditioning by the state.
      3. It is difficult at the moment to see how this can be prevented over the long term. It needs, somehow, to be systemically prevented from the start. Suggestions would be very welcome, as with anything else discussed by the party.