Rachel Eden, Labour’s Candidate for Reading West
Across the South East we have seen cuts back in the police since 2011 with senior police officers have consistently stressing the urgency for funding.
In Reading West we have seen our police force, Thames Valley Police, lose £80 million in their budget since 2011. The consequences of these cuts on the community are clear.
As a councillor I constantly talk to residents and one of the first things they mention is the rise of crime and anti-social behaviour. This is the same for councillors I have spoken with across the South East who cite crime as the biggest issue they come across in their local communities.
Residents are concerned about crime being committed in their local area and the lack of response from police. Whether it be violent offences, burglaries or gang related, the police are struggling to combat crime with a reduction in numbers.
In the 2017-2018 period there were nearly 150,000 offences recorded by Thames Valley police, that is an increase in offences of more than 8%.
During the Halloween period the police struggled in Reading, with lots of crime occurring across the constituency and police unable to get to all residents effected by crime.
Our officers do a sterling job but time and time again they have been let down as their budgets have been cut to the bone. The Tories have said austerity is over, if it is really over the government must follow through with actions and give our police the funding they need.
Labour’s commitment to policing and public safety is clear. We will recruit 10,000 more police officers to keep our communities safe.