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Labour MP for Warwick and Leamington Matt Western lambasted Boris Johnson for not seriously tackling the rise of violent crime across the country.
During Prime Minister’s questions in Parliament today (Wednesday), Matt raised his concerns with the Prime Minister about the rise in crime in Warwick and Leamington. Matt referred to two tragic deaths in the constituency which were a result of crime-related activities in the last two weeks. He claimed that the Conservative Party was no longer the Party of law and order, but the Party of “fear and disorder”.
Beginning in 2010, the Government cut £3.5bn from police budgets which up until recently resulted in Warwickshire losing 172 police officers and 59 PCSOs. Between 2015 and 2019, total recorded crime has increased by 33% in Warwickshire. The county has also seen a 152% increase in violent crime since 2010.
Matt spoke out against the Government relying on council tax increases to pay for police funding, instead of paying for it centrally. He cited Warwickshire, which increased it by 12% last year and 6% this year. He argued it is wrong for residents being made to “pick up the bill” for the Government’s proposed 20,000 new police officers which was promised by Johnson during the election.
Commenting on the question he posed to the Prime Minister, Matt said: “We have seen that the Government has cut police and safety services to the bone since 2010. Warwickshire and other regions across the country’s crime statistics are alarming, but it is no wonder why they are on the rise – you cannot keep us safe on the cheap. The loss of community policing services like officers and PCSOs has often led to a loss of law and order on our streets.”
“It’s simply wrong for the Government and Police Crime Commissioners to expect residents to pay to plug the gap in funding for policing through council tax hikes.”
He added: “The Government should be investing heavily now to tackle the rise in crime across the country, not leaving it to local residents to pay for the bill. I’ve lobbied them and the Police and Crime Commissioner several times on this point and I will continue to do so, for our safety’s sake.”