As Liberal Democrats, we believe that Peel’s Principles of Policing should comprise the basis of all police activities. Criminal law exists to serve us, and should be limited to behaviours that cause harm to others without their consent.
We support the traditional features of criminal law in Western civilisation, including freedom from arbitrary arrest, freedom from ‘double jeopardy’, the right to silence, the right to a fair, speedy and public trial, and the presumption of innocence. These rights are critical for a free society, and must be preserved.
The police, and by extension our justice system, should serve with the consent and at the pleasure of the people, rather than being imposed upon them. It is therefore important that we maintain strict limits on police power, and that police systems and reporting have adequate checks and balances in place to protect individual rights (including those of police officers), and are open to independent scrutiny to protect against abuse of power.