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Opinion: Tories are a party of 'crime and disorder'

PUBLISHED: 08:00 28 July 2018

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Last week's crime statistics showed the depth of the problem we are facing in our communities with a 16 per cent increase in knife crime across England and Wales.

That’s an all too familiar story in Barking and Dagenham where just a glance through stories in The Post demonstrates the battle police are facing every day on the front line.

Overall crime has risen six per cent in the last year in our borough while robbery is up 80pc over two years, and across the tri-borough knife crime is up between 10 and 30pc.

To give you an idea of how difficult it is for the police to turn the tide, there were 4.1 officers per 1,000 Londoners in 2010 - now there’s just 3.3.

Visibility of law enforcement can and should be a major weapon in our war on criminality. But when there are fewer officers on the streets and police station closures, the message that is being sent out is not a good one.

We managed to save Dagenham police station from closure by coming together as a community. But much more needs to be done.

That’s one reason why I have been really pleased to see Barking and Dagenham Council commit to a 24-hour police station, more crime reporting points and a crackdown on anti-social behaviour in their new four-year plan.

But there is only so much that can be done locally. It is the Tories’ policies that are dismantling local mental health services, it is their austerity that breeds poverty, deprivation and a feeling of hopelessness in some of our communities, and it is their cuts that have slashed the number of police on our streets.

The Tory party, which once made claim to be the party of law and order, is now the party of crime and disorder.

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