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York Central MP concerned over crime stats


12:29pm 6th June 2011

York Central MP, Hugh Bayley, has written to the Minister of State for Policing, Nick Herbert, to alert him to the significant 6% increase in crime which occurred across North Yorkshire in the first five months of this year compared with the  same period last year and to ask him to scale back the government's cuts to police funding.  Last month Mr Bayley met members of  North Yorkshire Police Federation who expressed concern about the scale of the cuts and the correlation between risk that cutting the number of police officers would trigger and an increase in crime.

In his letter to the Minister Mr Bayley points out that the number of Constables, Sergeants, Inspectors and Chief Inspectors is currently about 1500 but predicted to fall to around 1250, a cut of more than 15% in three years.  Past experience shows that there is a clear link between the number of police officers and the level of crime.

There was no increase in the number of police officers  at all in North Yorkshire between 1979 and 1997 when the Conservatives were last in power and crime more than doubled.  Since 1997 the number of officers has increased and the incidence of crime has fallen.

Hugh Bayley says:

   "When I ask people in York what their chief concerns are they always mention
     crime.  Experience tells us that the economy and crime are inextricably
     linked.  When there is an economic downturn there are always more burglaries
     and thefts.  This is one of the worst times to cut police numbers and I hope
     the Government will think again about the decision to cut police numbers in
     York and North Yorkshire.

    "Under the Labour government crime was falling.  When organisations like
      the Police Federation speak out the Minister needs to listen.  For every figure
      in the crime statistics there is a victim.  I am afraid the humand cost of higher
     crime will be much greater than the savings made by cutting the number of police
     officers.  Letting crime spiral upward again is cheap and easy but turning the tide
     and getting the crime rate down again, as Labour did, is difficult to do and
     expensive.  York is one of the safest places to live and I want it to stay that way."  

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