Shadow minister visits Bedford to hear about impact of police cuts

Louise Haigh & Mohammad Yasin were at the Tavistock Community Centre this morning

Louise Haigh, shadow minister of state for policing, visited Bedford this morning and joined Labour candidate for Bedford and Kempston, Mohammad Yasin to hear from local people about the impact that crime has had on their lives.

The parliamentary candidate for Sheffield Heeley was at the Tavistock Community Centre to talk to a group of local people who have been affected by rising crime.

She heard from a resident who lives alongside Bedford Prison, a business owner on Tavistock Street and a gentleman who was assaulted after standing up to a mugger who attacked his wife earlier this year.

“The loss of neighbourhood policing means that anti-social behaviour spirals,” said one resident.

All of them praised the way they had been treated by Bedfordshire Police, but voiced their frustrations at the continued rise of crime and anti-social behaviour in the Borough and the limited resources available to the police.

“Listening to the comments today has painted a fairly bleak picture,” said Ms Haigh.

“The current government is very keen to push things down to the local level, passing the financial burden down to local authorities.

“Bedford has been particularly badly affected by funding cuts and I know that Mohammad Yasin attends every policing debate in the House of Commons and that the government has promised to review the funding formula.

“Labour is committed to providing an additional 10,000 community police officers, but the issue won’t be corrected overnight. We need a government that’s going to invest in the police and also the causes of crime.”

Mohammad Yasin said, “Crime has rocketed in Bedfordshire. There have been three murders in the last year, all drugs and county lines related.

“We need proper funding for Bedfordshire Police, not just a sticking plaster.”

The Labour party’s manifesto will be published on Thursday.

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