- Redcar MP warns community anger is pushing vulnerable people towards private protection companies
- Anna Turley repeats call to the government to reinstate funding for neighbourhood policing
Labour MP for Redcar, Anna Turley, has warned the government that cuts to neighbourhood policing are pushing scared and angry residents towards private protection firms.
The Cleveland area has seen an 18% increase in crime since 2010. Over the same period, the force has had its government grant cut by £40 million which has led to the loss of over 500 officers on our streets.
Rising crime is driving some residents in Redcar & Cleveland, scared and angry about how unsafe they feel in their own neighbourhood, to companies offering private security patrols.
Speaking in an opposition day debate on police funding on Wednesday, Anna warned the government that residents were being pushed towards these services in desperation.
Anna repeated the call she made to the Prime Minister last month to restore funding for neighbourhood policing to make Teesside streets safe again.
In the debate, Anna said:
“I am starting to see a very worrying trend regarding private protection, because people are losing such confidence in the police’s ability to support them. Some of my constituents have been driven in desperation to pay for private protection companies to protect their homes and businesses. These companies offer protection packages for around £13 a house that involve offering security, responding to incidents and investigating crimes.
“I am deeply worried about the legality of such companies and the fact that vulnerable people feel obliged to pay for protection because they have no faith in the law being upheld. It is a damning indictment of the Government’s austerity agenda, under which police funding has been cut back to the extent that my constituents are worried that their local force does not have the resources to keep them safe.”
Anna also paid tribute to officers at Cleveland Police for their hard work against the onslaught of spending cuts and rising crime:
“I do not for one moment fault the work of our police force, which has been fantastic. Our hard-working men and women are doing their utmost to protect our communities, but when there are fewer people to cover the same ground and deal with more crime, they are swimming against the tide, and the Government must take responsibility.”