Batley & Spen MP Tracy Brabin has taken aim at the government’s “shameful legacy” on crime during a debate on the impact rising crime is having on smaller towns and communities.
Ms Brabin called the debate to highlight the damage being done by a “crime epidemic” in Batley and Spen, using several local examples to illustrate its effect on communities.
Recent police statistics show that from April 2018 – March 2019, there were 2,686 incidents of anti-social behaviour reported across Batley & Spen and over 2,700 incidents of burglary, criminal damage or arson.
In the same period, there were almost 4,500 reported incidents of violence and sexual offences.
The MP also detailed the extent of cuts to policing locally, with West Yorkshire losing 1,000 police officer since 2010, and over £140m in central government funding.
Batley and Spen MP Tracy Brabin said: “Crime and anti-social behaviour is deeply damaging for our communities and we urgently need to do something about it.
“I don’t believe it’s an exaggeration to call what we’re seeing a crime epidemic – the shocking figures speak for themselves.
“Year after year of Tory government cuts to our police force, youth services and local authorities has clearly had a profound impact on our towns, and people are rightfully angry.
“This shameful legacy of cuts has even led to a loss of faith in our police force for some, the very people who work so hard to keep us safe in such difficult circumstances.
“We urgently need to have a serious conversation about solutions for our towns – but we need the government to listen and engage.
“Our communities need and deserve better.”
During the debate Ms Brabin used various examples from Batley & Spen to highlight the challenges faced by communities, including the recent spate of burglaries and anti-social behaviour in Batley and Birstall.
The Batley & Spen MP ended the debate by calling for an audit of crime in towns detailing the levels of resolutions in comparison to cities, and for a greater transparency on where money is spent.
A transcript of the debate in full can be found here https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2019-06-05/debates/40FAB016-7BFA-4920-A0EA-065F0428C5FB/CrimeAndAntisocialBehaviourSmallTowns#contribution-A81917CC-9ECB-4241-992D-225CF8AF0504