Karin Smyth MP backs Labour’s plan to bring back neighbourhood policing, as statistics show a 35% cut to PCSOs across the South West

Karin Smyth – MP for Bristol South – has welcomed Labour’s plan to make Bristol’s streets safer and bring communities closer so that the causes of crime can be tackled.

Labour have attacked the Tories’ failure to keep local communities safe, as shocking new analysis shows huge reductions in staffing for neighbourhood policing in the South West.
The number of PCSOs across the South West has collapsed by 35% since 2010.

The most recent crime statistics show a 67% increase in reported robbery since 2015 and 85% increase in knife crime in the South West.

Labour has pledged to bring back neighbourhood policing by putting 13,000 more neighbourhood police on Britain’s streets, including recruiting at least 10,000 more officers, PCSOs and specials.

Labour’s plans are the equivalent of giving every constituency in England and Wales 15-20 extra neighbourhood police – formed of officers, PCSOs, and Specials.

Across the country, the number of PCSOs has halved since the Conservatives came to power in 2010. In the same period, the proportion of people saying they never see a police officer on the beat has doubled.

Karin Smyth, MP for Bristol South, said:

“Under the Tories neighbourhood policing has been cut to the bone. Without a local police presence on our streets or an outreach officer in our schools we will not be able to tackle the root causes of crime.

“The last 13 years of Tory mismanagement of policing and our courts has seen 67% increase in robbery in the South West and a disgraceful 85% rise in knife crime. All the while PCSOs were cut by 35%.

“Labour’s plan to rebuild neighbourhood policing from the ground up will ensure that communities across south Bristol can feel safe once more. When we last had a Labour Government crime was at a record low and prosecutions were swift. The next Labour Government will do this once more.”