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Public Services

Part of Debate on the Address – in the House of Commons at 11:38 am on 16th October 2019.

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Photo of Priti Patel Priti Patel The Secretary of State for the Home Department 11:38 am, 16th October 2019

I thank the hon. Lady for her comments, and it was a real honour to be with her at the cathedral on Monday to pay tribute to Andrew Harper. She is right; there are many good examples of social enterprises across all our constituencies that do tremendous work to give offenders a second chance. Importantly, they educate and train offenders and give them the skills to move on and rebuild their lives. As with many of the Bills I have mentioned today, we can come together to demonstrate strong cross-party support on this issue.

The Government recognise that freedom and security are not opposite but equal and that ensuring that people can live their lives free from fear is the essential foundation of a life of liberty. There is no greater service that a Government can perform for the public than keeping them safe. That is at the very heart of our agenda. Monday’s Gracious Speech contained improvements for every stage of policing in the criminal justice system, each designed to make the United Kingdom a safer and a fairer nation. We live at a time of new and acute challenges to policing and justice, whether they involve tackling the established evils of serious violence, domestic abuse, the arrest of foreign national offenders or keeping people safe from online harms. Officers need to know that the Government have their backs, so we have brought forward measures to extend the protections offered to police officers, to establish a police covenant and to give the police the necessary powers to arrest foreign national offenders. We are also clear that tough measures to bring criminals to justice must be balanced with a fair approach to those who have served their time and support for those who genuinely want to turn their lives around.