Tories would scrap tagging - Howard

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Labour's electronic tagging programme, which lets prisoners out of jail early, would be scrapped under the next Tory government, Conservative leader Michael Howard pledged today.

Labour's electronic tagging programme, which lets prisoners out of jail early, would be scrapped under the next Tory government, Conservative leader Michael Howard pledged today.

Launching an attack on political correctness and Britain's "no blame" culture, Mr Howard condemned Labour's record on crime as "the politics of the madhouse".

Mr Howard said since the tagging scheme was introduced in 1999, 3,500 crimes have been committed by tagged offenders, including nine serious sex crimes.

"Conservatives will ... end the Government's dangerous early release scheme," said Mr Howard.

"I have had enough of the culture of political correctness.

"Conservatives will stand up for the silent, law-abiding majority who play by the rules and pay their dues.

"The clear distinction between right and wrong has been lost in sociological mumbo-jumbo and politically correct nonsense."

He said the next Tory government would build more prisons and scrap Home Secretary David Blunkett's plan to implement the last major recommendation of the Stephen Lawrence inquiry.

By April next year, Mr Blunkett plans to make it compulsory for police officers to give a receipt to all people they stop in the street in a bid to crack down on those who unfairly target blacks and Asians.

In a speech in Middlesbrough which echoed his tough stance as Home Secretary in the 1990s, Mr Howard said the Conservatives would also give local councils "real control" over licensing of pubs and clubs in a bid to tackle yob culture in Britain's towns and cities.

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