UK Allocates $3Bln to Build New Prisons, Expand Existing Ones in Bid to Fight Rising Crime

LONDON, Aug 12:  UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that the government will allocate about 2.5 billion pounds ($3 billion) for building new “modern” prisons as well as expanding and revamping those existing ones as part of pledged efforts to crack down on crime.

“Up to ?2.5 billion will be spent on creating modern, efficient prisons, the Prime Minister announced today ? The programme – part of a wider crack-down on crime – will create 10,000 additional prison places,” the government said in a Sunday statement.

The funds would “also be used to bring previously decommissioned prison places back into use through extensive refurbishment and maintenance work,” the statement added.

According to the government, the decision “builds upon” Johnson’s commitment to recruit about 20,000 more police officers over the next three years in a bid to fight the rise in crimes.

It added that Johnson would receive “leaders from the police, probation and prison sectors” at Downing Street on Monday to “discuss how to cut crime and improve the criminal justice system.”

The United Kingdom’s rising crime rates, especially knife crime, has been in the public spotlight for quite a while. Police funding and job cuts that have been consistently implemented since 2010, when the Conservative party came to power, are often blamed for being behind the crisis around rising crime.