Violent crime has doubled in Brighton and Hove since 2011. For the first three months of this year, that means we’ve had 5,739 incidents of violent crime reported here. That is staggering and unacceptable.
I spend a lot of time with the police. I’ve work shadowed frontline officers from various departments, met teams to learn about their work and challenges, and most weeks have calls with senior officers to express concerns on behalf of our community and also to learn how I can be a better advocate for our police force in parliament as well as our community.
The bottom line if that our local force has been made to cut £76 million from its spending. We’ve lost 500 frontline officers, including almost all community policing.
Theresa May said that these cuts would make no difference at all to crime rates. Once crime rates went up she said they weren’t anything to do with the cuts. And today her government tells a third lie, that they are ‘spending more money’ because they are putting an extra million in having taken 76 million out.
I have joined together with our city’s other two MP’s, Caroline Lucas and Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP and together we’ve written to the Home Secretary to ask for a special task-force to be set up for our city. This needs to understand the complex nature of crime in our city as it is today and evolving into the future, what specialist skills we need to tackle and reduce it, and how much resource is needed to get the job done.
Right now victims of crime, our community, and our police force are being let down. And don’t lets forget that people who go on to become criminals are also being let down too, because the preventative work that was once so successful is no longer happening and people who would previously be supported into successful and productive lives and now left unsupported and making bad choices that are leading them towards criminality, hate, and a life of squandered opportunity.
I’m not expecting the Home Secretary to do what’s right, but I can promise you I won’t give up in doing whatever I can to get a grip on this growing problem that blights lives and communities. If you’ve been affected by this I am so desperately sorry, but please let me know what you think should be done and what you feel were the causes of it.