General Election: Weston-super-Mare's candidates' views on… crime and policing
PUBLISHED: 12:00 25 May 2017
Crime came out as one of the top issues for voters in Weston-super-Mare in a Mercury survey, so we asked the town's parliamentary candidates for their views on the topic ahead of the General Election on June 8. Here's what they had to say to try to win your vote…
UKIP candidate Helen Hims
“Although crime rates in Weston have fallen recently, much still needs to be done. A fairer funding formula for Avon and Somerset police must be prioritised, so extra resources can be allocated, and the number of police officers and police community support officers increased. Only by doing this can we continue the excellent progress made tackling crime & anti-social behaviour. UKIP will scrap our opt-in to the European Arrest Warrant, prevent foreign criminals entering the UK and promptly deport those who commit crime.”
Liberal Democrat candidate Mike Bell
“Our police are overstretched and crime and antisocial behaviour isn’t going away. It isn’t as simple as funding more officers, although that would help. As MP, I would bring together a crime and antisocial behaviour taskforce to deliver change by getting public services to work together to solve these issues and support people affected.
“Housing, poverty, inadequate physical and mental health support are all factors and only by working together, with Whitehall listening, can crime be tackled.”
Labour Party candidate Tim Taylor
“I am concerned that front line police officer numbers in Avon & Somerset Constabulary were cut by 17 per cent between 2010 and 2015 by the Liberal Democrat-Tory coalition.
“These changes created greater pressures on the force and locally, residents are concerned about antisocial behaviour and moving Weston police station out of town. Labour’s policy is to recruit an additional 10,000 officers across the UK to restore a more visible police force and help deal with rising on-line crime and anti-social behaviour.”
Green Party candidate Suneil Basu
“Britain has one of the highest proportions of prison populations in Europe, it also has one of Europe’s most unequal societies. A society stratified by class, and privilege. I believe that this inequality is the root cause to Britain’s huge prison population.
“My Green policies foster the development of local communities, and a sense of shared happiness, rather than materialism and greed. In these communities for the common good there would be less crime.”
Conservative candidate John Penrose
“Police numbers in the rest of Avon and Somerset have dropped but, after years arguing that Weston was being overshadowed by Bristol, I’m delighted we’re one of very few places with more than before.
“We’ve got fewer, better drugs rehabs too; almost half as many rehab beds means many fewer addicts, and lower crime because there’s less stealing to finance drug deals too. Now we’ve got to keep going.”