Jeff Smith, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Manchester Withington, has welcomed the party’s manifesto pledges on police and security.
Labour have firmly committed to investing in policing to prevent crime and keep communities safe, as well as enforcing the laws which protect police and other emergency workers from violent assault. They have pledged to rebuild the police workforce, recruiting 22,000 frontline officers – 2,000 more than the Tories have pledged.
The overall number of police officers in England and Wales has dropped by more than 20,000 since 2010, while recorded crime has risen. Under the Conservatives, the number of frontline police officers would not even be fully restored to pre-2010 levels.
In Greater Manchester, 2,000 police officers have been lost since 2010, putting the local force under immense strain. Earlier this year, it was reported that over 40% of crimes reported to GMP are not being fully investigated because of a lack of resources.
In the manifesto, Labour have pledged:
- To take action to address the causes of crime and end the epidemic.
- To invest in our communities and public services to build the stronger, fairer society that keeps us all safer.
- To rebuild our criminal justice services, with a focus on crime prevention and early interventions, giving people the best chance of rehabilitation.
The manifesto also promises to introduce minimum legal standards of service for all victims of crime.
In addition to policing commitments, Labour’s public sector pay rise plans would see greater incentives for experienced police to stay in the force. Police constables, for example, would get an extra £2,000 added to their salary.
“I’ve spoken to many fellow residents in south Manchester who have been left frustrated when the crimes they report go uninvestigated. Our hard-working local police officers are not to blame – it’s a decade of Tory and Lib Dem enabled austerity that has decimated the workforce.
“I’m pleased to see Labour pledging to put more police back on our streets, as well as investing in the community programmes and public services which help prevent people getting involved in crime in the first place. These commitments will make a real difference to our local community in south Manchester.”