Reverse Tory cuts to support better local policing

17 Jun 2024
Gideon Amos

Taunton and Wellington Liberal Democrats have accused the Conservatives of letting their communities down as new analysis of Home Office statistics revealed that 7,555 car thefts have gone unsolved following cuts in police numbers in Avon and Somerset since the last election.

The data shows just 5% of car thefts in the area resulted in a suspect being charged or summonsed.

National figures paint a similarly bleak picture, with 76% of car thefts going unsolved since the last election.

The number of unsolved car thefts has also soared in this period, with a 42% rise from 76,333 in 2020 to 108,934 last year.

Taunton and Wellington Liberal Democrats have said the fault lies squarely with the Conservative Party for taking over 4,500 Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) off the streets since 2015 and underfunding local police.

The party are calling for more support for the Avon and Somerset constabulary.

The Liberal Democrats would abolish Police and Crime Commissioners and invest the savings into frontline policing instead - a move that could generate around £170 million over the course of the next Parliament.

This will help enable a return to proper community policing - where officers are visible, trusted, and have the time to focus on preventing and solving neighbourhood crimes - so that criminals can no longer act with impunity.

Commenting on the figures Gideon Amos - the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate for Taunton and Wellington - said: “Conservative cuts to local police - including the recent cut of 80 PCSOs here in Avon and Somerset are the opposite of what people here want - a return to proper community policing.

"As a result of these cuts, and through no fault of local police officers who are doing an incredibly hard job, too many criminals are getting away with car theft in Avon and Somerset and much else besides - what a statement of failure of all these years of Conservative Government.

"Thieves bring misery to our communities and need to be caught- but our local officers are simply cannot cope with their reduced numbers - a government move benefitted no one except the criminals.

"We need a return to proper community policing, with visible officers on the beat and on the streets of Taunton, Wellington and our villages."

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