I was shocked and saddened at the events that occurred in Nuneaton yesterday, with several stabbings, and agree with Marcus Jones that this is a complex issue that cannot be resolved with one”fix”.
However, the irony will not be lost on local residents that our Tory MP is asking for more police and increased funding for the police force when it is HIS party and Government that have slashed budgets directly resulting in reduced policing. Even the local police officers will state that funding cuts have resulted in few police and resources to patrol, respond, and investigate all the crime that occurs. Not just here, but across the country.
When we were in the town centre a couple of weeks ago, many residents expressed their concern about crime and that it was a priority to them. I spoke to a secondary school-aged boy who said he was worried about knife crime. I asked him what he thought would help, and he replied that talking and education would help.
Of course, it’s not just down to that, and there are many reasons, but a massive contributing factor is funding cuts to education, family support services and services for young people, including community centres, which in Warwickshire are now being passed to volunteers to run. In my direct experience, this is not the answer, or necessarily viable in the long term, and we shouldn’t be relying on volunteers to pick up the pieces of a broken system caused by ideological Tory Government cuts. We have seen a rise in this with charities trying to pick up the pieces from food banks to support for special educational needs.
So although I am pleased that Marcus has raised the issue of police numbers, he must take responsibility for his Tory party cutting these services and not respond when it’s too late and too little.
The Labour party has pledged that it will fund increased policing, reversing these cuts, and as Labour MP for Nuneaton I will ensure that Nuneaton gets its correct share from Warwickshire and ensure that other necessary services are funded towards a holistic approach to this problem.