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.
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