Today Labour, committed to provide funding to the 43 forces across England and Wales to hire an extra 10,000 officers operating in community policing roles. We will provide the framework to enable community engagement and funding to ensure at least the equivalent of one more bobby per electoral ward to tackle crime for the many not the few.
In Stevenage, cuts to the police force have left the town with just 6 full-time police officers, leaving little time for officers to develop relationships with communities, and putting limitations on their visibility around the town. Last year the Tory Police & Crime Commissioner cut funding even further.
Stevenage’s Labour Council works closely with the local police with priority setting meetings, street meets and the community safety partnership. We know from our regular surveys of Stevenage people that tackling crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour remains their top priority and that they want to see more officers on our streets.
In addition the Government’s systemic failure to tackle the needs of those with mental health problems means that much of our available policing resource is often tied up at the Lister Hospital and elsewhere with those in mental health crisis.
Almost every police force in the country recorded an increase in crime over the last year, with worrying rises in some of the most violent offences, including gun and knife crime and homicide. Stevenage still has one of the highest levels of domestic violence in the county, the Council works extensively with our partners to tackle this through our Stevenage Against Domestic Abuse programme but the continuing cuts to police funding make this difficult. Since 2010, under Theresa May, police numbers have been cut by 20,000. Labour will reverse cuts to Capital Gains Tax which will more than fund these new officers in addition to guaranteeing current police levels.
“Community policing means uniformed officers being visible, local and accessible. They engage with the public, have a detailed local knowledge and build a network of relationships. Cutting police numbers especially when there is more crime to deal with is unacceptable. That’s why Labour will put 10,000 new police officers on our streets. The safety of our communities is vital to us all.” Says Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party.
Promoted by David Wood on behalf of Labour’s Candidates, all at 4 Popple Way, Stevenage, SG1 3TG (01438 222800; contact@StevenageLabour.org).