This week, the Office for National Statistic for Crime and Justice released their latest figures. The overall level of crime remained the same with crimes such as burglary, shoplifting and computer misuse decreasing. Though, sadly, the statistics have shown an increase in some types of “lower-volume, high-harm” violence which is focused on London and other metropolitan areas.
To echo the words of Nick Hurd MP, Minister for Policing at the Home Office, it is important to note that the crime statistics show that your chances of being a victim of crime in modern Britain remain very low for all crime. However, there will quite rightly be focus on the increase in the most serious violent crime.
As your local MP, I have always had regular meetings and contact with the Safer Neighbourhood Policing Teams serving my constituency. I have listened to the officers who serve and protect our community and the views of my residents and know there are understandable worries about violent crime in our area. It is really concerning to have seen some stabbings in Norwich recently, for example, and some drug-related crime affecting innocent local families.
The Government recognises and understands that police demand is changing and becoming increasingly complex. It is absolutely the first priority of Government to protect the public. As such, the Government has a key responsibility to ensure locally-chosen Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) have the necessary funding to keep communities safe.
Before Christmas, the Government published a funding settlement that means total police funding will increase by up to £970 million in 2019/20. This will take total funding to up to £14 billion, including council tax. This funding includes Government grant funding for PCCs, flexibility for PCCs to raise additional money at a local level from council tax, Government funding for additional pensions costs, funding for counter-terrorism policing and funding for national priorities, including tackling serious and organised crime.
This substantial increase in funding for the police will enable forces across the country to continue recruiting, fill crucial capability gaps and meet real pressures.
Lorne Green, the Conservative PCC for Norfolk, is currently consulting on his plans to use the council tax flexibility to increase police numbers here in Norfolk. If you haven’t yet, please take part in the consultation using the below link:
You can also support your local Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team by attending the public meetings Norfolk Constabulary regularly hold and telling your local policing teams your community concerns. For example, the next meeting for Sprowston and Old Catton is on Tuesday 5th February 2019 at 7pm at The Pavilion, Recreation Ground on Church Street, Old Catton, NR6 7DS.
I have been assured by Ministers that the Government is willing to invest appropriately in the Spending Review next year in police capacity and capability to support a professional workforce. As your local MP I hold regular constituency surgeries and am always happy to talk to constituents and listen to your views on police funding and resourcing.