CRIME is an issue that I know is a priority for my constituents in South Shields.
I work closely with our regional Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird, and our local policing teams to make sure people’s concerns are fed back into the way police work.
But our police can only work with the resources they are given, and Northumbria Police have been forced to make £104m of savings.
Our police force is the second worst hit in the country, and has lost more than 1,000 staff since 2010.
Given these cuts, it is not surprising that crime across the region has gone up – including in South Shields.
Violent crime has risen by four per cent, while burglary is up nine per cent and car crime is up five per cent.
I raised this with the Home Secretary Theresa May in Parliament, and she could not deny that violent crime is on the rise in our region, or that budget cuts by the coalition Government were a cause.
I know that our police force are doing everything they can to make the best of limited resources, and that our police officers as always continue to work very hard.
I will continue to raise this in Parliament, so that the Government cannot continue to ignore the problems their austerity has caused.