It is concerning that crime has risen in the last year, although this rise is set against the backdrop of the fact that crime is down by over a third since 2010, and it did fall to a record low during this decade. I’ve always taken the view that any amount of crime is too much and to quote a soundbite from the 1990s, we really do need be tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime.
One of the major causes of crime is the taking of drugs. There are those who say legalising Class A drugs would solve the problem. That would legitimise drugs which are harmful to both those taking them and to society as a whole. What would make a huge difference to violent crime would be if there was a huge reduction in the amount of drugs consumed. Greater help for addicts to quit and a widespread hardening in public attitudes to any consuming of illegal drugs is ultimately what will make the difference.
It is of course the police who have to deal with the fallout from crime, be it drug-related or not. It is good to see that Sussex Police’s numbers are going up, having recruited 140 new constables since April. Generally, the police have good public support which is vital as the vast majority of information to solve crimes comes from the eyes and ears of the public.
I believe that Labour are soft on crime and too often send out the wrong signals. They repeatedly opposed giving the police and intelligence agencies important powers that help keep us safe, and Labour MPs voted against making £450 million extra available to the police next year. Labour’s leadership of Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell voted against changing the law for anyone caught carrying a knife for a second time to face a custodial sentence. Last week Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbot criticised the police for knocking dangerous moped thieves off their bikes who fail to stop. These insights make me fear that crime would soar under a future Labour government.
Councillor Duncan Crow, Leader of Crawley Borough Council Conservative Group
5th December 2018