This summer Bridget Phillipson MP is campaigning in Houghton and Sunderland South for safer communities, with pledges to crack down on anti-social behaviour and end violence against women and girls.
While the Tories talk tough, their record shows they are the party of crime and disorder. They cut our police to the lowest level in a generation and cut funding for services that prevent crime from happening.
Latest research shows that police in England and Wales are still faced with a £1.6bn shortfall in funding under the Conservatives, and that between 2010 and 2020 we’ve lost thousands of officers from the frontline.
Northumbria Police has faced among the largest funding cuts of any force in England, and since 2010 we have lost over 1,100 police officers and PCSOs across Northumbria. This has meant that it’s harder for the police to address problems as promptly as they would like.
These decisions helped cause a surge in antisocial behaviour, leaving people afraid in their own communities. Drug use has risen and there is huge concern about violent crime.
Latest figures show that this year alone police recorded over 2 million incidents of antisocial behaviour – the highest in seven years. Even then this is still a fraction of the estimated 13.6 million adults who have witnessed or experienced antisocial behaviour during that same time. This includes incidents of people using and dealing drugs, fly-tipping, off-road bikes and threatening behaviour.
It shouldn’t be like this – and it doesn’t have to be.
Labour would do things different and prioritise makes our streets safer.
First we’d redirect over £280 million that has been earmarked for the Prime Minister’s new government yacht and spend it in areas like Houghton and Sunderland South to tackle anti-social behaviour. The additional funding could be used for surge funding for police officer and PCSOs, funding enforcement and additional CCTV.
Second we’d strengthen of legal protections for victims of anti-social behaviour to give victims of persistent, unresolved anti-social behaviour the same rights that the Labour Party is proposing to enshrine for victims of crime.
Third we’d work to end violence against women and girls. We’ve already set out a set of proposals to tackle this epidemic, including increasing sentences for rape and stalking, reviewing sentencing for all domestic abuse, and better support for victims of rape and sexual violence – delivering where the Conservatives have failed to step up.
In addition we’d also put more police on the beat in our communities and we’d ensure provision of youth clubs and treatment services.
Before becoming leader of the Labour Party, Keir Starmer was the most senior prosecutor in the country. It was his job to get criminals off the streets and give victims the justice they deserve. That’s the job of the Prime Minister, too, and Keir Starmer and the Labour Party, will act where Boris Johnson has failed.
Bridget Phillipson, MP for Houghton and Sunderland South and Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury said:
“Everyone should have the right to feel safe in their own home and community. Yet I know that too many people in our area experience anti-social behaviour and find it incredibly distressing.
“Responsibility for this lies squarely with consecutive Conservative governments. Since 2010 we have lost over 1,100 police officers and PCSOs across Northumbria. Local officers work tirelessly to keep our community safe, but with fewer and fewer of them their job gets harder and harder.
“The Tories want to waste hundreds of millions of pounds on a yacht. Labour would instead put the money to work tackling anti social behaviour and helping to make our streets safer.”