Last week, Keir Starmer set out his vision for how the next Labour Government will tackle crime and antisocial behaviour.
Over the last 13 years, the Government has hollowed out neighbourhood policing, sat back and let vulnerable young people be drawn into crime, and failed to tackle violence against women and girls. All too often it feels like criminals are being let off while victims are let down. It’s little wonder, then that confidence in the criminal justice system has collapsed.
This isn’t acceptable. Here in Tameside, there have been some improvements in local policing, but there are some problems that can only be solved by political will on a national level.
That’s why it was so refreshing to see Keir Starmer setting out the importance of security in local communities and committing to making our streets safer.
Labour’s crime mission has four key targets, to:
- Halve the level of violence against women and girls.
- Halve the incidents of knife crime.
- Raise confidence in every police force to its highest levels.
- Reverse the collapse in the proportion of crimes solved.
Meeting these targets won’t be simple, but it is essential if we want to build a safer and better Britain.
Take violence against women and girls as an example. The number of rapes and sexual offences reported are at a record high, but just 1.6% of perpetrators end up in court. That is an utterly shameful statistic, and any Government worth its stripes would get serious about addressing it.
To do so we need a whole-society approach. Of course, we need to reform our criminal justice, community and policing system, but we also need tackle misogyny in schools and social media. We need to do everything to prevent these crimes from happening, punish the perpetrators when they do and protect our communities in the process.
I’m sick and tired of having a government that doesn’t seem to have a long-term plan to tackle the crime that blights our communities. Security is the bedrock of our society. If we don’t feel safe where we live, then very little else matters. That’s the ethos that is driving the mission of the next Labour Government, and it is the ethos that will improve the lives of residents right across Tameside.