One thing everyone knows about the Liberal Democrats is they’re soft on crime. Give them a choice between the victim and the criminal, and you’ll find the Liberal Democrats making excuses for the criminals every time.
But the Liberal Democrats have been doing some homework. They’ve hired pollsters who have told them the public don’t like parties that are soft on crime. So they’re out to convince you they’ve changed their ways! Only – they haven’t.
The Liberal Democrats grabbed control of Lambeth Council shortly after the Government introduced anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOs). ASBOs are tools that can be used to hit criminals hard and get them locked up if they break its conditions. So, of course, the Liberal Democrats refused to use them. For three years the Liberal Democrats failed to issue a single ASBO against those responsible for crime and anti-social behaviour across Lambeth.
Worse, they tolerated crime in their own ranks. When one of their own councillors was found out fiddling thousands of pounds in a housing benefit scam – they protected him. When his guilt became so obvious even they couldn’t conceal it, they span out an investigation that ran to the end of their period in office nearly two years later without ever reaching a conclusion. The courts eventually convicted him of public theft. And who can forget how they hired a known fraudster and let him run off with £3 million of public money, ignoring residents who came to warn them what was going on.
Back in opposition, the Liberal Democrats are showing how little they’ve learnt from their election defeat. When the Council came up with proposals to expand the neighbourhood police teams with extra uniformed officers, the Liberal Democrats campaigned against it. Their own leader is on public record demanding the decriminalisation of kerb crawling.
But they’ve just found out the public don’t like parties that are soft on crime so* they’ve decided to attack the Police with fake stories about local police stations being closed down. You can see what they’re trying to do – but they’ve got it wrong again. They don’t seem to understand that if you want to look tough on crime, you attack the criminals, not the police! It’s easy to laugh at Liberal Democrats, only it’s not so funny when you wake up and find these clowns are running your local council.