Simon Lightwood MP: Levels of anti-social behaviour not acceptable

Knocking on doors across Wakefield, Horbury and Ossett, it is clear that people are increasingly worried about the levels of anti-social behaviour in our community.

By Jane Chippindale
Thursday, 28th July 2022, 4:33 pm
Updated Thursday, 28th July 2022, 4:33 pm

Simon Lightwood MP writes: While residents watch crime rising, the Conservative government is in paralysis, arguing among themselves and ignoring any responsibility of governing the country.

The Conservative’s terrible record on crime is stark. In England and Wales we saw a 14 per cent increase in overall levels of crime from the year ending September 2019 to March 2022.

According to recent figures from the Office for National Statistics, the total number of criminals being charged per year has fallen by 47 per cent.

NEIGHBOURHOOD POLICING: Cut by 30 per cent since 2015.

Across the country, neighbourhood policing has been cut by 30 per cent since 2015, with over 7,000 fewer officers and over 3,000 fewer police community support officers.

The devastating cuts we have seen to our public services in Wakefield, Horbury and Ossett over the past 12 years are causing lasting damage to our communities.

This damage is deep, and the government is in no rush to fix the crisis. The Conservatives are too busy squabbling.

Enough is enough. We need solutions to the problems we face around anti-social behaviour in our community. We need action not more warm words and empty promises from Tory ministers.

During my by-election campaign I committed to working with the mayor of West Yorkshire and Wakefield Council to campaign for more visible policing to crack down on this unacceptable behaviour.

Mayor Tracy Brabin and deputy mayor for policing and crime Alison Lowe OBE have begun some brilliant work to tackle the issue, launching a police and crime plan which will increase police officer and staff numbers in our region.

In my first few weeks of being the MP for Wakefield I have been pushing for answers from the government, holding them to account for their terrible record on crime, prosecutions, and anti-social behaviour.

I want to work with the community to fight for the resources we need to tackle the scourge of anti-social behaviour in Wakefield, Horbury and Ossett.

So, in the next few weeks, I will be launching a major survey encouraging people to share their first-hand experiences of anti-social behaviour to inform my campaign both locally and in Parliament.

It is clear to me that this government has no plan for fixing the mess that they have made. It is only Labour leaders across our country who will fight for their communities and protect public services including neighbourhood policing.

Labour will bring back neighbourhood policing with eyes, ears, and boots on the ground, working to tackle anti-social behaviour. The next Labour government, with Yvette Cooper MP leading on home affairs, will put police hubs at the heart of our towns to give residents a place to share their concerns and secure their communities.

Labour’s plan will put police back on our streets, with stronger powers to keep our communities safe, to stop the damage the Tories have inflicted on our communities, to work hand in hand with Labour mayors and councils, and to provide the fresh start Britain deserves.