Priti Patel vows to make criminals ‘feel terror’ as she promises a crime crackdown
Home Secretary Priti Patel has said she wants offenders to be “fearful” of committing any criminal activity.
Speaking to the Daily Mail for her first interview in the role, Ms Patel described the Conservative Party as “the party of law and order” and said she wanted to “empower” police officers to tackle crime.
“My focus now is restating our commitment to law and order and restating our commitment to the people on the frontline, the police,” she said.
And she warned: "Offenders should be fearful of committing any criminal activities on our streets.
"Quite frankly, with more police officers out there and greater police presence, I want them to literally feel terror at the thought of committing offences."
Ms Patel was reappointed to the Cabinet in July two years after she left Theresa May’s government for holding unauthorised meetings with Israeli officials.
Her comments come after she and Boris Johnson announced the recruitment of 20,000 more police officers in England and Wales last week.
Patel and the Prime Minister met with the National Policing Board earlier this week where they pledged to spend £1.1 billion on recruitment over the next three years.
The additional officers will replace the 21,732 police officers lost since the Conservatives came to power in 2010.
Crime rates hit a 15-year high in the past year with 5.9 million offences recorded, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Violent offences in England and Wales also rose by 20 percent to 1.6 million, the highest total since 2002, with only one in 12 crimes leading to a charge or summons.
Patel also distanced herself from her past comments on capital punishment, claiming that she is not an “active supporter” of the and that her comments were “constantly taken out of context”.
Speaking on BBC’s Question Time in 2011, she had said: "I do actually think when we have a criminal justice system that continuously fails in this country and where we have seen murderers, rapists and people who have committed the most abhorrent crimes in society, go into prison and then are released from prison to go out into the community to then re-offend and do the types of crime they have committed again and again.
"I think that's appalling. And actually on that basis alone I would actually support the reintroduction of capital punishment to serve as a deterrent."