Clive Lewis For Norwich South
I am deeply concerned about the shooting reported in the linked article and am making arrangements to speak with local police urgently about this incident.
Police and Home Office violent crime figures show Norfolk has experienced the largest four-year surge in knife and gun crime anywhere in the country. Between 2013/14 and 2016/17 there was a fifteen-fold increase in firearms offences recorded in Norfolk. Over the same period, knife crime soared by over 70%.
Local Police have said that there are almost 30 ‘county lines’ funnelling crack and heroin into Norwich.
These shocking figures combined with the surge in the number of criminal gangs moving drugs dealing operations to Norwich show that the nationwide rise in serious violence is not just confined to large cities.
Sone of the rise in violent crime is the result of ruinous cuts to local policing. £30m has been taken from Norfolk Constabulary budget since 2010 and another £10m of cuts is being demanded by 2020. Almost 150 Norfolk police staff have been lost since 2013 and 150 PCSOs have been taken off our streets.
But it’s not just police cuts that are fuelling the rise in violent crime. Leaked Home Office research (https://goo.gl/1US6f7), states that, like other types of crime and antisocial behaviour, violent crime has a clear link to “poor life outcomes” ” such as low educational attainment and poor health. Under the Tories, the attainment gap for ‘long-term disadvantaged’ pupils and health inequalities have worsened.
The leaked research also makes a clear connection between illegal drug markets and violent crime and in particular the rise in the use of crack cocaine.
The next Labour government will recruit 10,000 more Police Officers to reverse the cuts in staff since the Tories came to power in 2010. We will reverse Tory cuts to schools and health to increase positive life outcomes and tackle the causes of crime.