I welcome the Government's announcement on the launch of the 'Beating Crime Plan'.
This is a renewed commitment to tackle neighbourhood crime and improve community safety across the Country. A particular focus is given to early intervention, prevention and practical measures to deliver results across communities, and to tackle serious violence and neighbourhood crimes.
2019/2020 saw the first rise in Staffordshire police numbers since 2007 and since then the number of officers in Staffordshire has continued to increase. Locally we have been well on track with the new recruitment drive, with new officers on the beat helping keep our communities across Stoke-on-Trent safe. Along with the increase in local police numbers, I believe that some of the measures set out in this Government Plan will help cut down neighbourhood crime.
- expanding the use of electronic monitoring so burglars and thieves will have their whereabouts monitored 24 hours a day upon release from prison
- permanently relaxing conditions on the use of section 60 stop and search powers to empower police to take more knives off the streets
- trialling the use of alcohol tags – which detect alcohol in the sweat of offenders guilty of drink-fuelled crime – on prison leavers in Wales; this is to address the fact alcohol is a significant driver of crime, playing a part in 39% of all violent crime
- making unpaid work more visible by getting offenders to clean up streets, alleys, estates, and open spaces, and ensuring justice is seen to be done
- investing over £45m in specialist support in both mainstream schools and Alternative Provision – including mental health professionals, family workers, and speech and language therapists – in serious violence hotspots to support young people at risk of involvement in violence to re-engage in education
- a new £17m package for Violence Reduction Units to provide high-intensity therapeutic and specialist support from trained youth workers, including at crisis points such as when a young person is being admitted to A&E with a knife injury or upon arrest, to divert them away from violence
- rolling out two further rounds of the Safer Streets Fund to increase the safety of public spaces through steps including targeted patrols, increased lighting and CCTV, and work with councils to design out crime
- enhancing the role for Police and Crime Commissioners by launching the second part of the PCC Review to equip them with the tools they need to drive down crime and anti-social behaviour in their local areas
As your local MP, I have speak regularly with the police here in Stoke-on-Trent and also raised residents concerns in the House of Commons. Residents may have seen that I recently voiced concerns with regards to illegal cannabis growing in Longton.
I will continue to work with my colleagues in Westminster, the City Council and our Police and Crime Commissioner, to ensure local residents are kept safe and criminal activity is frustrated.