Boris Johnson today vows to change the law to ensure vicious thugs and sex offenders are locked up for longer.
The Tory leadership favourite tells the Daily Mail it is wrong that the worst criminals are routinely freed halfway through their prison sentences.
Trying to restore the Tories’ battered reputation as the party of law and order, he also promises to boost police powers to stop and search knife crime suspects.
He has already vowed to put an extra 20,000 officers on the streets.
© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Boris Johnson has told the Daily Mail that it is wrong that the worst criminals are routinely freed halfway through their prison sentences and has vowed to ensure vicious thugs and sex offenders are locked up for longer
In the interview, his most revealing and detailed of the leadership campaign, Mr Johnson:
Under Mr Johnson’s sentencing plan, offenders who have been given 14 years or more in jail for violent or sexual offences will be expected to serve their whole term behind bars. Judges will be barred from reducing sentences to compensate.
The move will be seen in part as a response to the notorious case of black cab rapist John Worboys. Although Worboys was subject to an indeterminate sentence for attacks on 12 women, he was recommended for release after serving just ten years.
Mr Johnson’s partner Miss Symonds led a successful campaign against the Parole Board’s decision.
© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Mr Johnson admits the Tories got it wrong on knife crime by bowing to politically correct demands to scale back stop and search. He promises a ‘relentless focus’ on knife crime, which claimed 100 lives in the first five months of this year. Pictured in 2010, then-Mayor Johnson walks through a knife arch security scanner at Vauxhall railway station
She was targeted as a 19-year-old by Worboys, who gave her a spiked drink after offering her a lift home. Mr Johnson insists Miss Symonds will not play a role in deciding policy, telling the Mail: ‘I will be deciding what we do.’
But his decision to act on an issue on which she has campaigned will be seen as a sign of her potential influence.
Mr Johnson says: ‘I’m afraid there are too many people, because of the way the sentencing law works, who have committed serious violence or sexual offences who are being let out, as the law prescribes, after they’ve served only half the sentence that is pronounced in open court.
‘This is happening. And I’m talking about serious sexual or violent offenders. And I think the public is noticing this quite properly. They don’t think it’s right, and I don’t think it’s right.’
© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Mrs May tightened the law in 2014, describing the stop and search regime as ‘unfair, particularly to young black men’. The number of stop and search procedures has since fallen by 80 per cent, while knife crime has soared
Mr Johnson admits the Tories got it wrong on knife crime by bowing to politically correct demands to scale back stop and search.
He promises a ‘relentless focus’ on knife crime, which claimed 100 lives in the first five months of this year.
Turning his fire on Theresa May, who ordered the curbs to stop and search, Mr Johnson says: ‘When it comes to stop and search, the fact is that we went wrong when we decided to change the rules on the best use of stop and search. We made it more difficult. And I think it’s important that we change that balance back.’
Mrs May tightened the law in 2014, describing the stop and search regime as ‘unfair, particularly to young black men’.
© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Mr Johnson has suggested plan to force sex offenders with sentences of 14 years or more to serve their whole term behind bars. The move will be seen in part as a response to the notorious case of black cab rapist John Worboys, of whom Johnson’s girlfriend Carrie was a victim
The number of stop and search procedures has since fallen by 80 per cent, while knife crime has soared.
The Tories’ reputation on law and order has taken a battering as falling police numbers coupled with rising crime have seen parts of the country likened to the ‘Wild West’.
Last year violent crime rocketed by 19 per cent, with knife thugs, moped attackers and ‘county lines’ drug gangs operating brazenly.
Five former Scotland Yard chiefs yesterday condemned the ’emasculation of the police’ under Theresa May, and warned public confidence in the service was reaching ‘perilously low’ levels. Mr Johnson was also asked what he would do if he couldn’t secure a new deal from the EU and MPs blocked No Deal.
© PA Wire/PA Images Conservative party leadership contender Boris Johnson on stage during a Tory leadership hustings at the Perth Concert Hall, Perth. (Photo by Jane Barlow/PA Images via Getty Images)He replies that he didn’t think that would happen ‘in a month of Sundays’.
And he says he is confident he can secure a new deal and get it through Parliament.
‘Politics has changed since March 29 and there is a growing understanding in the House of Commons that this is existential for both parties,’ he says.
‘Look at where Labour is now – 18 points. These are not propitious circumstances for either of the main parties and we need to move on and get this thing done.’