Whenever I get time I love to spend it with people in the frontline of our public services. It really helps me understand how things work and what the challenges are.
So I jumped at the chance to do a shift with a team of frontline police officers and it was brilliant, I learned so much. This is a team who join up all the work in communities striving to prevent crime happening and supporting people moving away from criminal activity. But they are also out on our streets patrolling and keeping us safe.
We were popping in and out of communities, and the final stop was at a homeless night shelter in Hove where the support staff were working closely with the police to tackle street begging which is not only affecting our community but also posing huge problems for many of the people begging too.
Whilst our police are doing a brilliant job in very challenging circumstances, officer numbers have fallen to their lowest level in 30 years, and the police have recorded the highest crime rises in a decade. Under the Tories, over 21,000 police officers and 6,700 community support officers have been axed, despite a promise to protect the frontline.
I’m in close touch with our local police force to raise concerns on behalf of our community, and I’m campaigning for more bobbies on the beat and more community police in our schools.
You can’t protect the public on the cheap, and after I wrote to the Home Secretary to urge him to set up a special task-force on violent crime in our city, the Government agreed to give our local force a £1.34 million cash boost. I’ll keep doing whatever I can to get a grip on this problem that blights lives and communities. You can read more about this here: https://www.brightonandhoveindependent.co.uk/news/crime/mps-urge-home-secretary-to-act-on-violent-crime-in-brighton-and-hove-1-8907587.
The Labour Party takes the issue of community safety extremely seriously too, and in our 2017 manifesto we committed to hiring 10,000 officers to rebuild the links between the police and the communities they protect. We also pledged to properly fund local authorities so they can invest in things like youth services which help to address the underlying causes of crime.
We are committed to promoting a more joined up approach across the public sector, ensuring the police work in close cooperation with local authorities, health and social services in order to deliver stronger, safer communities.
By adding to police officer numbers and prioritising the frontline, we would enable officers to adopt measures which prevent crime as part of neighbourhood policing, for example focusing on repeat offending, victimisation or problems in crime hotspots.