WALDEN CRIME SOARS 45% IN 2017 – LABOUR ASKS LOCAL MP: WHERE ARE OUR POLICE?

With Saffron Walden’s reported crime soaring 45%, the town’s Labour party spokesman Simon Trimnell has demanded local MP Kemi Badenoch deliver on her promise of more police resources.

Number of crimes per month

In November, Ms Badenoch urged local people to report crime, saying: “the police numbers allocated to us are calculated based on the number of crimes reported. This means that by not reporting crime we are making it more likely that police resources will dwindle even further – and so the vicious cycle continues. The answer? Report every incident, no matter how minor.”

While crime is approaching record levels, the town’s police resources have shrunk to the lowest level ever with no promise of extra cash from the Police and Crime Commissioner. Instead, Uttlesford District Council and Saffron Walden town council are having to stump up the cash to pay for a PCSO, who has fewer powers compared to a normal police officer.

Saffron Walden town council and Uttlesford district council have agreed to pay for a PSCO on a 50/50 basis over two years. The total annual cost of funding a PSCO in the town is £37,652. Labour town councillor Arthur Coote supported funding for the PSCO, but Labour is also demanding additional funds for more policing to stem the crime wave.

Simon Trimnell said: “A PSCO is no replacement for a traditional bobby on the beat and it shouldn’t be up to Uttlesford and the parish council to fund policing, that’s not their role. It is better than nothing, but still a lot less than the level of policing we had years ago.

“Austerity policies are making Saffron Walden more unsafe with fewer police. On the doorstep, we’re hearing more and more reports from residents of burglary and nuisance crime. I’ve lived in the town all my life and I’ve never known it this bad.

“It all comes down to central government policy. Where is Kemi Badenoch? Is she getting more funding for more police in the town now she’s been promoted in the government?

“Labour is promising 10,000 new police officers on the streets of Britain, paid for by reversing cuts to Capital Gains Tax, to return our police service to its former strength. Only then will Saffron Walden stop the rapid rise in crime.”

Saffron Walden Labour Party’s latest crime report has published the following statistics:

  • Overall crime was up 45% in January-November 2017 compared to the same period in 2016
  • Anti-social behaviour represented the largest proportion of reported crime at 29% of the total
  • Violent crime was the second largest contributor at 21%, followed by criminal damage and arson (11%)
  • The rise in crime was caused by a 40.5% rise in ASB, 60.2% rise in violent crime and a 63.0% rise in burglaries

Saffron Walden crime statistics can be viewed here: http://www.ukcrimestats.com/Neighbourhood/1248

Tina Knight Debacle Highlights Need for Cabinet Equalities Post

Saffron Walden Labour Party is calling on Uttlesford leader Howard Rolfe to appoint a Cabinet Member for Equalities to address issues arising from the controversies around Cllr Tina Knight’s comments to Radio 2 on the Presidents Club.

Said Alexandra Routledge, Saffron Walden Labour Party’s Women’s Officer: “Many members of the public were rightly upset by Cllr Knight’s comments and we are pleased there is cross-party determination, both nationally and locally, to confront abusive behaviour towards women. Condemnation of one person’s misguided statement is not enough. We need to tackle harassment and abuse of women and the attitudes that are contributing to the problem.

“Saffron Walden Labour party believes we all need to take ownership of these problems and create practical solutions. A member of cabinet dedicated to equalities issues can help promote standards in public life and inclusiveness in policy-making.

“Many councils have created this portfolio and it has helped in their role as service providers and employers as well as improving the overall quality of local debate.”

On 29 January, UDC published its latest guidance on equalities, covering discrimination based on sex, age, disability, race, religion, sexual orientation and other matters. This is an obligation on the council under the Equalities Act 2010, which seeks to strengthen the laws preventing discrimination and the inequalities that still exist in society today.

The council is required to conduct equality impact assessments and implement equality policies. An Equalities cabinet portfolio would help put this strategy into practice.

Walden MP’s Tweet Supporting Scandal-Hit Tory “Inexcusable”

Saffron Walden Labour Women’s Officer Ally Routledge responds to local MP’s appointment as a vice-chair of the Tory party after defending Toby Young’s controversial tweets:

“It is inexcusable that the first woman MP for Saffron Walden would go out of their way to defend the comments made by Toby Young.

“Recently, we have seen women speak up about sexual harassment in politics and Mr Young’s comments on women MPs at Prime Minister’s Questions were inappropriate and highlight the problem with misogyny in politics.

“The resignation of Toby Young is welcome but he was not fit for the role of the Chair of the Office for Students in the first place.

“Kemi’s new role as Vice Chair of the Conservative Party for Candidates means that she will have significant power in selecting the next generation of Tory candidates. I hope she applies higher standards to make politics more diverse and welcoming for women than she has with her comments regarding Toby Young.”

Local Tories in Disarray Over Police Cuts

Local Conservatives are in complete disarray over policing as police numbers are slashed, police stations are closed and crime soars.

At a local residents meeting with the Essex Police and Crime Commissioner, held at Saffron Walden Town Hall on Monday, Tory infighting broke out as internal party tensions came to the fore.

After the meeting, local Labour activist Simon Trimnell said: “It is quite clear to me that the local Conservative party is in complete disarray. The police and crime commissioner Roger Hurst, a Conservative, blames lack of police in Saffron Walden on Conservative central government cuts while local Conservative councillors are blaming him. Meanwhile, Saffron Walden’s Conservative MP is demanding we all report more crime to get more police.”

Essex crime rates in September and August this year were the worst and second worst months, respectively, since 2010, according to the latest crime statistics. In Saffron Walden, reported crime rose 37% in January-September compared to the same period in 2016. Violent offences rose 49% while anti-social behaviour grew 39%, accounting for 20% and 30% of total reported crime, respectively.

Saffron Walden is one of the communities targeted for cuts under the Tories as Essex reduces the number of police stations in the county from 80 to 30 in a bid to save the force £63 million between 2017 and 2020.

Local MP Kemi Badenoch Fails to Make the Grade

Local MP Kemi Badenoch fails to make the grade in an end-of-year report by Saffron Walden Labour Party.

Constituents have complained to local Labour activists that she is failing to pay attention to their concerns. Response times to letters have been one area of concern with many claiming it can take weeks for a response.

Many are shocked by the answers they receive, which appear to have been plagiarised from other MPs’ statements. Responses to letters on the UN’s criticism of the government’s treatment of disabled people were identical to a letter Home Secretary Amber Rudd MP issued on her website (https://www.amberrudd.co.uk/disability-rights-violations). Local residents also received letters in response to concerns over universal credit that were very similar to a statement made by Conservative MP Graham Stuart on his website (https://www.grahamstuart.com/campaign-responses/universal-credit/). See attachments.

Saffron Walden CLP Chair Bill McCarthy said: “Constituents have been used to Alan Haselhurst’s prompt and individual responses, even if they disagreed with him.

“While she has grand ambitions, our MP isn’t prepared to do her own homework and instead plagiarises her colleagues. It’s poor form and she doesn’t make the grade.

“According to the press, she isn’t even willing to make the constituency her permanent family home. Many are wondering whether she’s taking local people seriously.”