Stride calls for greater focus on neighbourhood policing in Harlow

SUZY Stride, Labour’s General Election candidate for Harlow, has backed a report calling for more neighbourhood policing and slammed the Tory-led Government for cutting frontline officers in Essex.

On Monday former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Lord Stevens published his Independent Police Commission Review – the most comprehensive analysis of policing for half a century. This review makes several recommendations on the future of policing in England and Wales, including a renewed focus on neighbourhood policing.

Neighbourhood policing was pioneered by the last Labour Government as a new way for police forces to operate. It meant police officers were more rooted in the communities they served. Lord Stevens has suggested that this strategy is under threat from the Government and communities like Harlow could be the ones to suffer the consequences.

Suzy Stride said: “Police forces in Essex have been hit hard by the scale and pace of the Government’s cuts to local budgets. Essex has lost 134 police officers over the last three years and across the country we’ve lost over 10,000 frontline officers.

“The police are doing what they can but these cuts are having a detrimental effect on their ability to do their job and now we see that neighbourhood policing is also taking a hit as well.

“Neighbourhood policing is an integral part of the fight against crime and anti-social behaviour, and we need a renewed focus on it that is rooted in the local community.

“Under the Tories we’ve seen police services grow more remote from those that they serve but the next Labour Government will make sure that this trend is reversed.”

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