It’s not rocket science to work out that an increase in crime in Cleveland and Durham is inevitably related to a reduction in the police force. Frighteningly, official figures have just revealed that violent crime is up in all but one police force area in the country and the biggest surge is in the Durham region.
This particular force had lost approximately 25% of their police officers since 2010 and as these figures demonstrate these cuts should not have been allowed to happen. Some organisations such as the police and NHS should be ring-fenced from austerity cuts, though money could still be spent more efficiently with less paperwork, more front-line professionals, and more scrutiny of massive salaries paid to those at the top of the tree.
Three straightforward elements are required to cut crime: criminals must fear detection, and fear tough deterrent sentences being handed out by the courts. Within such a framework, rehabilitation ‘with teeth’ is far more successful.
Appallingly our government’s actions have reduced the chance of detection, ignored the need for no-nonsense sentences and merely paid lip service to rehabilitation.
Urgent action is needed to halt and reverse this shocking increase in crime, particularly violent offences. Let us hope the government takes the appropriate actions – and soon.
Jonathan Arnott MEP