Priti Patel to outline measures to stop disruptive activists following Insulate Britain protests

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Priti Patel to outline measures to stop disruptive activists following Insulate Britain protests
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Priti Patel will announce new powers for courts to prevent people attending protests, in her speech to the Conservative conference.

The Home Secretary’s announcement comes after a string of attempts by Insulate Britain climate activists to block roads including the M1 and M25.

Meanwhile, Justice Secretary Dominic Raab it to promise to increase the electronic tagging of offenders as well as pledge to do more to tackle violence against women and girls.

Mr Raab will promise £183m to double the number of offenders in England and Wales on electronic tags by 2025, in a bid to cut reoffending rates. He will also pledge £90m to pay for more hours of community payback by offenders.

Ms Patel will also use her Conservative Party conference address to announce a £15 million expansion in testing suspects for drugs on arrest, which could lead them to being given treatment for their addictions.

Mr Raab – who was demoted to Justice Secretary in September’s reshuffle – will use his speech to say that more than 25,000 criminals will be fitted with ankle tags as part of a £183 million plan to expand the use of electronic monitoring to cut crime.

 (PA Wire)
(PA Wire)

It will include 10,000 prolific thieves, burglars and robbers being fitted with GPS tags as they come out of prison and around 3,500 high-risk domestic abusers also having their whereabouts monitored in this way.

More than 12,000 offenders will be subjected to wearing sobriety tags to watch their alcohol consumption.

The funding will see the number of people tagged at any one time rise from around 13,500 this year to around 25,000 by 2025.

Mr Raab will also set out a £90 million plan to increase community work carried out by criminals to around eight million hours a year which will look to recruit 500 more unpaid supervisors and focus on cleaning up streets and other open spaces.

The Justice Secretary is expected to say: “This major increase in high-tech GPS tagging will see us leading the world in using technology to fight crime and keep victims safe.

“From tackling alcohol-fuelled violence and burglary to protecting domestic abuse victims, we are developing tags to make our streets and communities safer.”

The GPS tagging project started in April and was expanded to half of England and Wales last week.

The pilot could be rolled out nationwide, if it is found to be successful at cutting crime and helping police catch offenders.

Criminals in England who commit drink-fuelled crimes can be required to wear ankle tags that monitor their sweat for alcohol every 30 minutes.

They have been ordered for more than 1,500 offenders serving community sentences since they were rolled out a year ago.

Mr Raab is also expected to use his conference speech to reiterate that his “number one priority” is to protect women and girls, as well as to outline his vision for reforming the Human Rights Act.

In the wake of the murder of Ms Everard at the hands of police officer Wayne Couzens and the death of Sabina Nessa, he is expected to promise to “transform” the way the justice system treats violence against women and make the streets safer so that “women can walk home at night, without having to look over their shoulder”.

Meanwhile the Home Secretary will say those targeting women and girls will “feel the full force of the law” upon them.

She is scheduled to say: “Such unconscionable crimes and acts of violence against women and girls have no place in our society. And that is why I have redoubled my efforts to ensure women and girls feel safer.”

She will confirm plans for tougher powers against the likes of Insulate Britain and Extinction Rebellion.

Ms Patel is preparing to announce an increase in the maximum penalties for disrupting a motorway, while also criminalising interference with major roads, railways and the press.

The Home Office will also give the police and courts new powers to deal with the “small minority of offenders” who are “intent” on travelling around the country with the aim of “causing disruption and misery across our communities”.

Ms Patel will also tell activists there is “no reason” for an asylum seeker to cross the Channel from France as she renews her vow to control the flow of small boats arriving into the UK.

There is an ongoing row with the French over efforts to tackle the crossings, but Ms Patel will say: “We make no apology for securing our borders and exploring all possible options to save lives by ending these horrific journeys.”

On drugs policy, Ms Patel will set out extra funding for police in England and Wales to test suspects on arrest for crimes including narcotics offences, fraud and theft.

She will also announce five pilot areas will be given extra powers to test suspects arrested on suspicion of crimes beyond the usual “trigger” offences.

The other main speaker in the conference chamber will be Health Secretary Sajid Javid.

The Times reported that he is preparing new powers to seize control of poorly performing hospitals and sack managers who fail to clear NHS backlogs.

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