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Opinion: Link between poverty and violence

PUBLISHED: 08:30 10 August 2019

Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas will be Calling Time on Crime. Picture: ANDREW ACHILLEOS

Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas will be Calling Time on Crime. Picture: ANDREW ACHILLEOS

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I've been campaigning for more investment in local policing for the last 10 months, so I welcome the prime ministers commitment to recruit 20,000 new police officers - replacing the 21,000 that have been lost due to government cuts over the last nine years.

However, without funding for youth services, community provision and preventative measures - tackling the underlying causes of violent crime, I fear little will change in our community.

We can't arrest our way out of the situation we are in and a recent report from the Home Affairs Select Committee laid bare the stark mismatch between the causes of violent crime and the government's action to tackle it. There is clear evidence of the link between poverty and youth violence.

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Across Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge we have lost 1,000 police officers since 2010 and youth services have been cut to the bone.

And with knife crime continuing to rise on our streets it's clear that cuts have consequences.

Yet despite crippling austerity, Barking and Dagenham are still finding ways to deliver for young people - the Youth Zone signed up its 4000th member last week and their amazing work should be applauded.

The bottom line is that the Tories have utterly failed on policing and youth services.

In the coming months I will be taking my Calling Time on Crime petition to the Home Office, and I will continue to work with the local authority towards a multi-agency approach that tackles inequality and crime in our community.

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