Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, is backing Labour’s call for action to tackle anti-social behaviour, as new analysis from the party has shown that a staggering 1.2 million incidents of nuisance are recorded in England and Wales every year – equating to over 20,000 incidents every single week.
Internal polling conducted by the Home Office shows that only 35% of people say they have confidence in the current Government’s handling of crime and justice. Under the Tories, overall crime has gone up by 14%, while prosecutions have fallen. In England and Wales the percentage of people who say they never see a police officer has almost doubled since the Conservatives came to power from 25% in April 2010 to March 2011 to 48% in April 2019 to March 2020. Meanwhile, the proportion of people agreeing that the local crime and ASB issues that matter are being dealt with has fallen from 61% in 2012 to just 52% in 2020.
Labour is calling on the Government to halt plans for a Royal Yacht, which is being funded by taxpayers’ money, that the Royal Family do not want and would bring no advantage to the Navy, and to use the money saved to guarantee local Police Hubs in towns and communities across the country instead. That investment could start funding a new police hub in hundreds of local neighbourhoods next year.
Some 1.2 million nuisance incidents were recorded in the year ending September 2021, equating to 23,759 incidents every week, and over 3,300 every single day. When expanded to cover personal and environmental ASB such as drug paraphernalia, over 1.6 million incidents of antisocial behaviour were recorded over the last year – over 200,000 higher than pre-pandemic levels.
Labour’s plan to tackle anti-social behaviour includes:
- New Police Hubs in crime and antisocial behaviour hotspots across the country to get the police back out into the community
- Neighbourhood Prevention Teams bringing together police and local councils and youth services to tackle antisocial behaviour that is blighting communities
- Stronger powers for police and local councils to shut down drug dens, and to keep them closed for longer
- A major recruitment drive to increase the number of special constables
- Giving victims of persistent antisocial behaviour the same entitlements including access to support services as other victims of crime
Labour’s police hubs will bring together a Neighbourhood Prevention Team made up of police, community support officers, local authority staff and youth workers to tackle anti-social behaviour at source. These teams would prioritise being visible on patrols, being easily accessible for local residents and would pursue serial perpetrators of ASB or low-level crime, as well as dealing with visible signs of disorder such as broken windows, graffiti, fly-tipping, or drug dealing. These teams will also support victims of anti-social behaviour. Labour councils such as Redbridge are already working in partnership with local police to introduce local hubs.
Commenting, Andrew Gwynne said:
“The Tories have totally dropped the ball, and communities right across the country are being blighted by crime and antisocial behaviour as a result.
This government has systematically underfunded police services in England and Wales, as well as cutting support for local clubs which do a great job of keeping young people engaged and part of a community.
Labour has developed a plan that would tackle antisocial behaviour at its root cause, and through new policing hubs get police back into our communities.
The people that I represent, right across Denton and Reddish, deserve to feel safe where they live.”
Yvette Cooper MP, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, added:
“Communities are being badly let down by the Tories.
“Total crime is going up, prosecutions are going down, criminals are being let off and victims are being let down. People aren’t seeing the police on the streets any more, and there is far too little proper action to tackle local neighbourhood crime and antisocial behaviour despite the increase during the pandemic.
“The Tories don’t seem to get how much of a nightmare persistent anti-social behaviour is for residents as there has been no coordinated national plan on antisocial behaviour for a decade.
“That has to change. That’s why we are starting with new Police Hubs to bring neighbourhood prevention teams back out into our communities. We need to see police back on our streets working in communities to keep people safe.”