East Dunbartonshire residents want more police, not ID cards

Jo Swinson speaking in the House of Commons

Research by the London School of Economics has said the ID cards scheme could cost over £19bn

Funding for the Government’s controversial ID cards scheme should be redirected to provide more police officers in the community, according to a survey of East Dunbartonshire residents carried out by Jo Swinson.

Jo revealed the statistics in Parliament today, following the unveiling of new proposals to tackle crime in Scotland by her Liberal Democrat MSP colleagues at the party’s Spring Conference in Aviemore at the weekend.

Speaking in the House of Commons today, Jo asked Home Office Minister Liam Byrne:

“I have surveyed my constituents in East Dunbartonshire on this issue and received over 700 responses. 87% of people said they would rather see money spent on more police in the community than on the government’s ID card project.

“When will the government realise that its plans for ID cards are unwanted, unnecessary and undeniably a complete waste of money?”

Commenting later, Jo said:

“People in East Dunbartonshire have made their views abundantly clear in this local survey: we need more police, not ID cards.

“The Government’s misguided ID cards scheme will be a totally impotent weapon against crime, benefit fraud and terrorism. We already know that the terrorists who struck on 9/11 and in Madrid carried valid identity cards.

“The civil liberties of ordinary people in this country have been systematically eroded by the Labour Government, and ID cards will be a further blow.

“Under new plans announced by the Scottish Liberal Democrats, 1000 extra community police in Scotland will be funded. This is a far more sensible way to tackle crime than to spend billions of pounds on ineffective ID cards, as the Government plans to do.”

The Scottish Liberal Democrats announced a new approach to tackling crime at the party’s Spring Conference in Aviemore.

Proposals include recruiting 1000 more community police officers, 2 per council ward in Scotland (16 across East Dunbartonshire), maximum seven-year sentences for knife crime and tougher community sentences to replace short, ineffective prison sentences.

In addition, the Liberal Democrats propose to replace the Scottish Prison Service with a new Scottish Custody and Rehabilitation Service, ensuring that rehabilitation programs started in prison continue in the community once prisoners have completed their sentences.

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