CONSERVATIVE plans to build more prisons in a bid to fight crime are doomed to failure, it is claimed.
The Liberal Democrats have condemned Tory leader Michael Howard's plans and say their own proposals will work better.
The Tories want to recruit 40,000 extra police officers and back zero tolerance policing.
They also want to build more prisons, scrap plans to get police to issue receipts to every person stopped and scrap Labour's electronic tagging programme, which lets prisoners out of jail early.
Dr Elisabeth Wilson, Parliamentary spokeswoman for Colne Valley Liberal Democrats, has attacked the Tory proposals, saying crime doubled during the last Conservative Government.
She said: "Mr Howard's plans to build more prisons are hugely expensive.
"They will simply not tackle crime and will only add to the number of people who re-offend and to the UK's already record prison numbers."
Liberal Democrat plans include:
* A new National Police Agency to fight national and international crime. This will free local forces to concentrate on local issues.
* A new National Border Force to tackle cross-border terrorism, drug-smuggling and organised immigration crime.
* A new Financial Crime Directorate to investigate complex financial crimes that often need specialist knowledge and policing.
* A new minimum policing guarantee, to be agreed between local people and chief constables.
* Cutting police paperwork by using new technology like voice-recognition software.
* Increasing the use of local custody suites and local courts to cut the time police have to spend travelling.
Dr Wilson added: "Crime and policing has to be tackled from a number of angles.
"These include better integration of national policing needs, improving the capacity of local forces to keep the peace and fight crime effectively, making policing more accountable - without compromising operational independence- and ensuring that we have the protection of a visible, responsive and successful police force."