Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner has launched a blistering attack on a decade of cuts to local government which he says is leading to more crime and more misery for Cambridge residents.
Tackling the Minister for Local Government, Mr Zeichner name checked the Cambridge News and the five pages worth of knife crime, drug dealing and disorder journalists were reporting on.
The MP said: “This is causing huge concern to my constituents, and when I talk to the police about it they tell me that one of the key reasons are the cuts to all those preventative early intervention services that have happened over the past few years… The cuts are not cost effective – they are costing us more, and are causing huge crime levels and misery.”
With knife crime in particular on the rise across the UK, a parliamentary report last year warned that cuts to youth services provided by cash-strapped local authorities in recent years are likely to have contributed to current crime levels. According to analysis from the Labour Party last year, spending on overall crime reduction by councils has been cut by almost 60% between 2010 and 2018.
Mr Zeichner says: “After a decade of Tory austerity preventative early intervention services have been cut to the bone, and our streets are noticeably less safe. It doesn’t take a genius to realise that when you take away those services that have been there on the ground helping to support people in difficult situations, particularly young people, you’re going to see consequences. What we need from the Government isn’t just a sticking plaster of 20,000 new police officers – not even making up for the 21,000 that have been cut – we need to end austerity once and for all, and allow councils to re-invest in those community support services that we know really make a difference to levels of crime.”