Cracking down on crime – candidates make funding promises for police forces

Sgt Cocking was charged with corrupt and improper exercise of police powers and privileges.

Sgt Cocking was charged with corrupt and improper exercise of police powers and privileges. - Credit: Archant

Keeping Weston’s streets safe is always an election promise voters want to hear.

However, it is much easier said than done. Funding for the police is under the microscope and the main parties all believe they have the answer.

In their final pitch for you vote, the Liberal Democrats, Labour, Green Party and Conservatives vow to get tough on crime.

Patrick Keating - Liberal Democrats:

With a Liberal Democrat government, our communities will be safer and people will feel safer. We will invest £1billion to restore community policing, enough for two new police officers for every ward.

We will restore youth services and bring police, teachers, health professionals, youth workers and social services together to prevent young people falling prey to gangs and violence.

Instead of wasting money locking people up on short sentences that don't work, we will spend it on the things that actually prevent crime.

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And we will stop Brexit and maintain the European crime-fighting tools that keep us all safe.

Tim Taylor - Labour

Approximately 600 police officer roles have been cut in Avon & Somerset since 2010.

The consequences are higher crime, more anti-social behaviour and local police officers working under huge pressure.

A Labour government will recruit 10,000 more police officers across the country.

In addition, we'll put more resources into dealing with online crime, knife crime and drug related crime - a real issue in Weston.

We also need to tackle the causes of crime. Poverty, inequality and drug addiction are associated with increases in crime.

Labour policies to support families in deprived areas and reintroduce youth services will begin to deal with these challenges.

Suneil Basu - Green Party

Britain has one of the highest incarceration rates in Europe to match one of the highest rates of inequality. By addressing the underlying problems in social justice that are the route of much of Britain's crime rates, a Britain led by the Green Party would see falling numbers of prison populations and reductions in reoffending.

We would end the prohibition of drugs and create a system of legal regulation to minimise the harms associated with drug use, production and supply. Reverse spending cuts to policing and focus on greater police community work.

We would give teeth to the tax office to pursue corporate and super rich tax avoidance and secrecy.

John Penrose - Conservatives:

Weston used to have problems with low-quality drugs rehabs creating crime hotspots.

After I launched the Cleaner Weston Campaign, and with a lot of great work by local police, health and council staff, the number of rehab beds fell by over a third. Crime fell too, and addicts had a better chance of staying clean.

However, we must not stop there.

There will be 20,000 more police if a Conservative Government is elected and, even though Weston got more police redeployed from Bristol a few years ago, the extra bobbies are needed to take on the drug dealers who fuel most local crime even more strongly.