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Michael Howard wants police to have the confidence to "eyeball" yobs and "invade their personal body space".
The Tory leader vowed that under a Conservative government "police muscle power" would get behind the public's priorities of tackling thuggery.
He accused Tony Blair of "losing the plot" on crime and said the Tories would "wipe the smile" off yobs' faces and make them fear the police.
All three main political parties are pledging to provide more police.
The Lib Dems also say that prison should be about rehabilitation as well as punishment.
Full ACPO statement
CONSERVATIVE PARTY LOCAL PRESS ADVERTS ON VIOLENT CRIME
"The most recent crime figures demonstrate the success of the police service and its partners in reducing volume crime such as burglary and robbery. This has been achieved by focusing on crimes that concern communities most and on prolific and priority offenders.
"The risk of being of a victim is still at its lowest for 23 years. The British Crime Survey shows that crime has reduced over the last 10 years and that violent crime has remained stable. Notwithstanding the continued impact of the national recording changes that were implemented in 2002, our analysis of the rise in police recorded violent crime has shown that much of it represents low-level thuggery and alcohol fuelled violence. These offences, although taken seriously by the police and a priority for the future, result in minor or no physical injury but have inflated the recorded violent crime figures.
"If we want to increase the fear of crime, the selective use of statistics can help in doing that. However, we feel that it is important that all crime statistics - which forces publish regularly - should be put into context and communicated in a responsible way to the public."
This is the advert which appeared in a local newspaper in the marginal constutnency of Gwent West. The figures are accurate, but not comparable. Simply because in 1999 an attack on 3 people would have been recorded as one crime - but in 2004 under the national recording standards which focussed on victims the attack.
In a statement tonight the Chief Constable of North Wales Richard Brunstom
"This misleading advert quite improperly seeks to stir up fear of rising crime when it is a well established fact that crime has been falling for years both locally and nationally.
I'm disappointed in the extreme that it has appeared in the press in a very marginal constituency in the run-up to a general election."
Similar adverts have appeared in local and regional papers all over the country, from Northumbria to Hertfordshire making similar claims - same use of statistics, provoking and a similar response from the chief constable there.
In fact so many police chiefs have registered concerns that the Aossciation of Chief Police Officers told Channel Four News tonight scathingly tonight if we wanted to increase fear of crime the selective use of statitsics can help in doing that.