Crime scene
Crime scene

South East Cambridgeshire Labour Party is joining Labour’s national Safer Communities Campaign as Keir Starmer, Labour leader, brands the Conservatives “the party of crime and disorder.”

Our Conservative MP, Lucy Frazer, recently said “Reducing crime and increasing police officer numbers are important for constituents”

We agree. We live here and we see the effects of police shortages. Shortages caused by the Conservative Government since they took office in 2010.

Police strength down. In 2010 Cambridgeshire had 182 police officers for 100,000 people. By 2020 this had fallen to 175.  (figures exclude those on long term leave).

Massive cuts to Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs). In 2010 Cambridgeshire had 209 PCSOs. This fell to 73 last year and further cuts will see a drop to just 40. PCSO numbers down 80% under Tory rule.

Fortunately for us, Cambridgeshire is a relatively low crime area. But it’s not crime-free.

Rural crime cost our county £2million last year according to the rural insurer NFU Mutual. Making us the second worst affected county (fourth worst the previous year).

Knife crime here is up 84% since 2010 according to the Government’s own figures.

Deep cuts to the Justice budget have made it harder for the community to engage with the police and made it more difficult for the justice system to work.

Closed two of Cambridgeshire’s five magistrates’ courts (Ely and Wisbech). Every first hearing is held at the magistrates’ court regardless of the crime. They are important.

Closed nine walk-in enquiry offices this year. Only Cambridge and Peterborough still have walk-in services.

Scrapped the community safety team

Threatened the closure of Cambridge Magistrates’ Court. Pretty much the first thing Lucy Frazer did as Under-Secretary of State for Justice, was to announce the possible closure of Cambridge Magistrates’ Court. Fortunately, the court was saved.

These local cuts in our justice system are just part of the nationwide situation. And one that’s been condemned from the Law Society saying the criminal justice system is broken to the Police Federation taking the unprecedented step of voting No Confidence in the Home Secretary.

Launching Labour’s Safer Communities Campaign, Keir Starmer said

“I want to live in a country where women and girls are safe to walk the streets alone. A country where parents don’t have to wait anxiously until their kids come home. A country where our elderly feel happy and secure in their own neighbourhood.

“That’s why Labour is launching our campaign for safer communities. It’s why we are pledging to drive down crime, tackle its root causes and ensure that criminals are brought to justice.”

 

References

 

Lucy Frazer quoted on her website: https://www.lucyfrazer.org.uk/news/visit-cambridgeshire-constabulary-hq

 

Police strength figures. Uses the ‘excluding long term absences’ figures from House of Commons briefing paper SN-00634 [this figure chosen because it reflects the number on active duty].

 

https://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/SN00634/SN00634.pdf

 

Figures used for 2010 and 2020 (latest available). Compared with the mid-year population estimate from the prior year (which is same methodology in the HoC briefing paper).

 

Population figures are taken from Eurostat by adding the totals for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Figures can be found by googling ‘population of Cambridgeshire’ and a graph is presented. Ditto Peterborough.

 

PCSO figures come from the same report. Again using 2010 and 2020 figures. Table A3

 

The further cut in PCSO to 40 is confirmed in this news report 

https://www.cambridgeindependent.co.uk/news/cambridgeshire-police-close-enquiry-offices-in-neighbourhood-9197237/

 

which also includes that nine walk-in offices are being closed and the ending of the community safety team

 

Closure of Ely and Wisbech Magistrates’ Courts reported here

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-12847768

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-21245194

 

Threat to Cambridge Magistrates’ Court reported here

https://www.elystandard.co.uk/news/new-justice-minister-lucy-frazer-wants-to-close-cambridge-court-4894258

 

NB although it refers to Mrs Frazer as the ‘justice minister’ at the time of the report 18/01/18 she had recently been appointed to Parliamentary Under-Secretary in the MoJ. She was in that post from 09/01/18 to 09/05/19 https://members.parliament.uk/member/4517/career 

Court saved reported here https://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/cambridge-news/magistrates-court-closure-government-decision-14946242

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