Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness reacts to Government ASB plans saying “this changes nothing, we still need more police on North East streets and more investment in crime prevention”

GOVERNMENT plans to deal with anti-social behaviour have been met with criticism by a Police and Crime Commissioner who says the announcement simply does not go far enough to reverse 13 years of police and council cuts.

Ministers are to hand Northumbria Police limited funds for extra patrols and making offenders repair the damage they have caused but will not be providing the long-term investment in youth services and family support needed to reverse ASB.

The Government’s latest pledges follows deep cuts to frontline policing since 2010 and Kim says the promises distract from urgent calls to put more officers on the beat.

Since 2010, Northumbria Police has taken the biggest financial hit of all the forces in England and Wales – losing more than 1,100 officers and £148m in budget cuts. Northumbria Police now has 12 per cent fewer officers than it did back in 2010.

Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness said: “13 years of government cuts have caused a rise in ASB and now we’re only getting half the solution. Government has announced limited funds for extra police patrols, but they still owe Northumbria more than 500 extra officers to reverse cuts to police numbers.

“Ministers say they want to tackle ASB but if they do not invest long term in preventing ASB with good neighbourhood services, in youth workers and councils and community hubs, the Government will simply run out of money to deal with those people committing ASB.”

She continued: “This isn’t to make an excuse for those who blight our neighbourhoods, cause damage or make victims of their neighbours.  But in the long-term we can’t arrest our way out of crime.  If we don’t devolve the ability to invest in public services and create real opportunity, we’ll constantly be sending police officers, or the council or the housing association back to the same neighbourhoods to deal with the same repeat offenders from the same households.

“Any funding we can get our hands on for the North East we will welcome but it’s too little too late. Government needs to be to bring child poverty down, to eliminate the root causes of anti-social behaviour and until it does we will be in the position where we simply need more cops on the streets.”