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Editorial comment: Cuts mean open season for crooks

PUBLISHED: 12:00 21 February 2018

Cohen is set to appear before magistrates today.

Cohen is set to appear before magistrates today.

MPS

Thankfully, I’ve never been a victim of burglary but a family friend has suffered several times.

It’s quite a devastating crime and it’s not what’s physically taken in terms of property that hurts the most but what burglars leave behind - paranoia and anxiety for their victims.

Of all the places you should feel safe is in the family home. It’s a sanctuary not just from harsh winter conditions but the criminals who have no thought for anyone but themselves and what they can steal.

Knife crime is a huge issue in London but interestingly it’s burglaries that many residents are most concerned about judging by Monday’s meeting with Dame Margaret Hodge MP, residents and the police.

It cannot be a coincidence that as government funding cuts start to bite crime increases.

It is clear from the meeting that the numbers of visible police officers coupled with police station closures sends a message to common criminals that it’s open season.

I genuinely believe this and that’s not a criticism of the police.

They have to balance a tough budget on top of the increasing threat of terrorism, cyber-related crime and complicated cases of sexual abuse. All are important in their own right but all command huge resources at a time when our police forces are dealing with austerity.

I accept we have to work smarter in our government departments to save cash but at what cost? What will it take for government to stand back and realise not all cuts are worth the cost?

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