Call for district’s MP to deliver on police promise

PUBLISHED: 08:14 19 February 2018

Kemi Badenoch in the House of Commons. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Kemi Badenoch in the House of Commons. Picture: CONTRIBUTED


Saffron Walden’s Labour Party has called on MP Kemi Badenoch to deliver on her promise of more police resources for the town following a 45 per cent increase in reported crime in 2017.

Saffron Walden’s Labour Party has called on MP Kemi Badenoch to deliver on her promise of more police resources for the town following a 45 per cent increase in reported crime in 2017.

Saffron Walden Town Council and Uttlesford District Council have agreed to jointly pay for a PCSO over two years at an annual cost of more than £30,000.

Labour town councillor Arthur Coote supported funding for the PCSO, but his Labour group is also demanding additional funds from Government for more policing to stem the crime increase.

A spokesman for the local branch of the Labour Party said: “A PCSO is no replacement for a traditional bobby on the beat and it shouldn’t be up to Uttlesford and the parish council to fund policing, that’s not their role. It is better than nothing, but still a lot less than the level of policing we had years ago.

“Austerity policies are making Saffron Walden more unsafe with fewer police.

“It all comes down to central government policy. Where is Kemi Badenoch? Is she getting more funding for more police in the town now she’s been promoted in the government?”

According to the Saffron Walden Labour Party, citing crime statistics from online portal, overall crime was up 45 percent in January to November 2017, compared to the same period in 2016.

They say the rise in crime was caused by a 40.5 percent rise in anti-social behaviour, 60.2 percent rise in violent crime and a 63 percent rise in burglaries

The party spokesman added: “While crime is approaching record levels, the town’s police resources have shrunk to the lowest level ever with no promise of extra cash from the police commissioner. Instead, Uttlesford District Council and Saffron Walden Town Council are having to stump up the cash to pay for a PCSO, who has fewer powers compared to a normal police officer.”

Mrs Badenoch said: “Keeping this community safe has always been my number one priority. I often call myself a ‘law and order Tory’ as it’s one of the reasons I got into politics and chose to sit on the Justice Select Committee.

“These numbers are disappointing but unsurprising. One of the reasons I launched my Report It! campaign last year was precisely because the lack of reporting was causing an artificially low level of crime recording in this area and leading to a reduction in the number of police we were allocated.

“If my campaign is successful I expect us to have even higher reports of crime before we get more officers and the numbers fall.

“I successfully led the campaign, along with other Essex MPs, to ask the treasury for more money and when this was declined, we managed to get the Home Office to raise the policing precept in November 2017. The chief constable and police, fire and crime commissioner both thanked me for achieving this.

“The rise in police precept will mean 150 more officers by next year and I am meeting with the chief constable, chief inspector and police commissioner in the coming weeks to push for these resources being directly delivered where we live. “Just last week, I organised a meeting with local businesses in the town centre who were affected by burglaries over Christmas time. I am working with them to deliver better crime prevention and remain in regular contact with the chief constable about crime in our area and how we can ensure our communities are protected.

“I know that other parties will always try and use news stories like this against me – that’s politics. But I’m glad that I have received positive feedback from my constituents, local businesses and the local police who can see the work that is being done on their behalves.”


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