We all deserve to live in communities where we feel safe, secure, and supported by the law.
Unfortunately, over the last decade, we have seen anti-social behaviour skyrocketing. Last year, over 1.6 million incidents of antisocial behaviour were recorded, an increase of 200,000 on pre-pandemic levels.
These figures are incredibly concerning, and one of the primary reasons that I have been so glad to see the recent reforms made to Tameside policing services under the new Chief Superintendent Rob Cousen. Since assuming office, Superintendent Cousen has worked with Tameside Council’s Community Safety Officers and managed to reduce anti-social behaviour by 18 per cent.
Tameside Council have worked to develop the Tameside Community Safety Partnership, which makes sure that local services work alongside each other to tackle violence against women, dangerous driving and anti-social behaviour.
I would like to see a renewed emphasis on tackling crime on a national level. It’s important that we do everything we can to make our local communities safer. I want to see new Police Hubs in crime and antisocial behaviour hotspots, as well as stronger powers for police and local councils to shut down drug dens, and to keep them closed. Steps like these, alongside a focus on youth services and an increase in police numbers, would drive down crime and improve communities for generations to come.
Alongside these wider measures, we also need to make sure that we are doing the simple things. I’m a strong believer in the importance of civic pride, and I find it so frustrating when I see graffiti, fly-tipping or broken windows on our streets. It makes our streets look untidy and unsafe and has a real impact on community morale. We need to give local authorities the support and tools they need to tackle these visible signs of disorder quickly.
Crime will not go down by itself. Crime and anti-social behaviour are a nightmare for residents, and without a proper plan, I am afraid that we will continue to see it increase. Here in Tameside, we have shown that we are serious about tackling community crime and deserve to see our efforts matched nationally.
I want to live in an England where you feel safe no matter where you grow up, and where the police services are accessible and integrated with local communities. We can get there, but we need to make sure that our actions match our words.