Sunderland Echo: If we’re to cut crime we must also bring down poverty levels
Sunderland Echo: If we’re to cut crime we must also bring down poverty levels

Last week, I was delighted to join Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness for the launch of her “fighting poverty, fighting crime” focus for local policing.

In January, Boris Johnson wrongly claimed that the Government had cut crime. Offences are rising and prosecutions are plummeting, and we need a comprehensive new approach if we are to keep our community safe.

The Conservatives have failed on crime. Since 2010, police funding has been slashed and the number of police officers on our streets has fallen sharply – Northumbria Police alone has lost over 1,100 officers and PCSOs.

Labour’s plans to restore neighbourhood policing will tackle the epidemic of anti-social behaviour currently blighting communities across the country, with increased visible policing including more eyes, ears and boots on the ground.

Crime is one of the biggest social justice issues facing the North East and Kim is absolutely right to focus on it. Poverty and crime are inseparable – the poorest are the most likely to be the victims of crime, and it is clear that if we are going to make real headway in bringing down crime rates across Sunderland, we must also be doing everything in our power to bring down poverty levels.

We’re in the midst of a cost of living crisis that is dragging more and more families into poverty, yet the Tories still won’t act.

They don’t have a plan for policing and they don’t have a plan for poverty, and it’s our community that will continue to suffer as a result.

Early intervention is central to Labour’s plan to ensure a better future for our children. Too many of our children are growing up in poverty and not receiving the support they need.

Further afield, we’ve all seen the tragic images coming out of Ukraine.

I’m proud that our community is standing together with the Ukrainian people against unprovoked and unjustifiable Russian aggression, and we must continue to do all that we can to support Ukraine and deter Russia.

For those wanting to donate, the DEC’s Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal and UNICEF’s Ukraine Appeal are doing good work helping those Ukrainians in need.

I’ve donated and I’d encourage everyone to do so.

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