GOVERNMENT MUST “PUT COMMUNITY SAFETY FIRST”          

 Newcastle North MP Catherine McKinnell used the debate on the Queen’s Speech to press for greater action to tackle anti-social behaviour.

Catherine highlighted that 12 years of Conservative cuts and underfunding to the criminal justice system, police and supportservices have left police and the criminal justice system struggling to cope.

She said that the “anti-social behaviour that blights significant parts of our country and my constituency has effectively been decriminalised, as cuts to front-line policing and the criminal justice system have caused the proportion of reported crimes ending in prosecution to plummet.

Catherine raising concerns that “victims of crime are too often treated as an afterthought”, adding:

“We need to put community safety as a priority. It means more police out there tackling crime, out there tackling anti-social behaviour, out there tackling dangerous driving… the things they came into the force to do”.

Catherine further called for victims of anti-social behaviour to be given “the same rights as victims of crime” and ending “the postcode lottery in support for victims of anti-social behaviour with proper-dedicated funding”.

After the debate, Catherine added:

“The Government’s tough talk on crime and anti-social behaviour simply doesn’t match their action. No matter how harshly Ministers might promise to punish criminals, if police and the courts don’t have the resources to investigate crime and bring offenders to justice the system doesn’t work. What kind of message is that sending to the people that make constituents’ lives a misery?”

“Despite the Government’s rhetoric, since 2019 crime is up 18% and prosecutions are down 18%, with the number of arrests dropping by 35,000.

“The empty promises from this Government let down communities and victims of crime. What we needed to see are measures to invest in our police and criminal justice system, to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour”.