Wednesday 6 March 2019 / 1:16 PM Crime / Louise Haigh

Labour write to Theresa May calling for 10,000 new police officers and investment in youth services to combat youth violence

Senior Labour politicians including Police & Crime Commissioners across the country have written to the Prime Minister about the recent outbreak of serious youth violence.

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, Shadow Policing Minister Louise Haigh, West Midlands Police & Crime Commissioner David Jamieson and the Deputy Mayor for Policing in Greater Manchester, Beverley Hughes, have jointly signed the letter.

The letter urges the Prime Minister to urgently convene the Cobra Committee, to put 10,000 Police officers back on our streets and to begin rebuilding Sure Start and Youth Services which have been cut.

Full copy of the letter:

Prime Minister,

There is not a town or city across the UK, which hasn’t been touched by the outbreak of serious youth violence. Nationwide there has been a 93% rise in children under 16 being stabbed since 2013, over 1,000 teenagers entered A&E with stab wounds last year. Knife crime is at the highest level since records began.

This is a national crisis, and it requires leadership from the top of government.

It was therefore remarkable to hear you claim again on Monday that “there is no direct correlation between certain crimes and police numbers”. Regrettably, this shows that you are in complete denial and senior officers across the country have said so.

The Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police said yesterday that ‘everybody would see’ there was some link between violence and police numbers. The Chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, Sara Thornton said: “I am utterly convinced that intelligence-led policing with a focus on prolific offenders and hot-spot locations makes a real difference. But fewer officers and staff are able to do less policing.”

Research from the Home Office concluded police cuts “likely contributed” to the rise in violent crime.

This crisis requires you to drop this dangerous delusion on police cuts and show leadership on this issue. That’s why our country urgently needs to see decisive action on a number of key issues:

Convene the COBRA committee: The absence of Government leadership has had a corrosive effect & put lives at risk. You must urgently lead a cross-government effort, involving all relevant agencies & police chiefs nationwide to keep our children safe.

Put 10,000 officers back on our streets: We believe the current crisis is an emergency long in the making & it requires decisive action to urgently recruit 10,000 officers to put the police back on the front foot in the fight against serious violence. Prime Minister, if your government can find the money to win a vote in the House of Commons, you can find the money to keep our children safe.

Rebuild Sure Start & youth services: Rebuild Sure Start ending the devastating cuts which have undermined early intervention and provide a Statutory Youth Service with ring-fenced funding and support for all our young people, underpinned by a public health approach to fighting violence.

This is a national crisis and nothing less than focussed leadership from the very top will solve it.

Yours sincerely,

Louise Haigh, Shadow Policing Minister

Tracy Brabin, Shadow Early Years Minister

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London

David Jamieson, West Midlands Police & Crime Commissioner

Beverley Hughes, Deputy Mayor for Policing, Greater Manchester

Keith Hunter PCC, Humberside

Mark Burns-Williamson PCC, West Yorkshire

Willy Bach PCC, Leicestershire

Barry Coppinger PCC, Cleveland

Alun Michael PCC, South Wales Police

Hardyal Dhindsa PCC, Derbyshire

Clive Grunshaw PCC, Lancashire

Alan Billings PCC West Yorkshire

Jane Kennedy PCC Merseyside

Paddy Tipping PCC Nottinghamshire