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Dagenham and Rainham MP delivers petition to government in bid to boost police numbers

PUBLISHED: 15:00 15 October 2019

Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas. Picture: Andrew Achilleos.

Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas. Picture: Andrew Achilleos.

Andrew Achilleos

Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas has delivered a petition to the Home Office in a bid to get more police on the streets in Barking and Dagenham and Havering.

The petition, with 5,000 signatures, comes after a BBC report found violence in Havering has almost doubled since 2016.

Mr Cruddas said: "The Tory cuts to policing and youth services have pushed our communities to crisis point."

The move came despite the government pledging an extra 1,369 officers to the Met as part of the first phase of a national police "uplift" on Wednesday, October 9. Across the UK, the scheme will see 20,000 recruited and equipped over the next three years - not including existing vacancies.

The Home Office is also piloting making section 60 stop and search powers easier to impose and has pumped in £10million to increase the number of officers with Tasers.

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Home Secretary Priti Patel said at the "uplift" announcement: "The public are clear they want to see more police officers on their streets, whether they live in the city or the countryside.

"Every single police force in England and Wales will be able to recruit additional officers this year to help keep all of our communities safer."

But Mr Cruddas wasn't confident about any impact the scheme would make.

According to Home Office data, there were 33,367 officers in the Met in 2010. As of March this year, that was down to 30,435. With a gap of almost 3,000 officers, the "uplift" will plug around 46 per cent of that gap.

"This 'investment' feels like we've lost a tenner and found a pound," the MP said, commenting on the government's announcement. "With knife crime and serious youth violence increasing across Havering and in Barking and Dagenham, it just isn't a good enough commitment."

He added he wants to make sure any police 'uplift' reaches outer London areas like Dagenham and Rainham.

A Home Office spokesman said it has given £500,000 to Barking and Dagenham as part of the Early Intervention Youth Fund, which aims to steer young people away from violence.

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