Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper visits Beeston High Street to back Labour candidate

Yvette Cooper and Broxtowe Labour candidate Juliet Campbell speaking to a member of the public outside White Rose in Beeston
-Credit: (Image: Nottingham Post)

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper visited Beeston's high street to talk to businesses about anti-social behaviour and shoplifting. The Labour MP was joined by Labour Broxtowe candidate Juliet Campbell as she chatted with staff at White Rose, Greenhood Coffee and Pudding & Pantry as part of the pair's election campaign.

The pair even sampled some sweet treats from the latter establishments including ice cream and matcha buns. But they also discussed shop break-ins, vandalism, thefts and aggressive customers with staff with those on the job.

Speaking to Nottinghamshire Live, Cooper said: "We've seen growing problems in town centres and on high-streets with anti-social behaviour. That's having a real impact on local communities. At the same time, there's 10,000 fewer neighbourhood police and PCSOs out on the beat. Community town centre patrols have gone just at a time when we've just seen a massive increase in shoplifting."

She quoted shoplifting in Beeston as having gone up by a third and a loss of around a quarter of neighbourhood police. She also spoke about the "organised" nature of crimes such as shoplifting, and said that a staff member at White Rose had said that shoplifting had increased in the last twelve months.

She said: "It's about having impact on communities. I've spoken to so many shop owners who've spoken about the challenges and threats that people face, shop owners who end up facing abuse and assaults. they shouldnt have to feel unsafe at work. It's not fair on communities. It's hitting high streets and making shoppers feel less safe. People have got to feel safe in their town centre's because that's good for the local economy and good for the high street as well."

Juliet Campbell, who is vying for Conservative MP Darren Henry's seat in the general election on July 4, reiterated her points, saying that shop owners she'd spoken to all over the constituency are "asking for help". Both stopped to speak to members of the public when approached and had conversations with them.

Labour plans to get 13,000 more police and PCSOs back on the beat, with a particular focus on town centre patrols. They also want to crack down on anti-social behaviour with "respect orders", which could allow repeat offenders to be banned from town centres, get rid of the £200 rule which means if shoplifters steal less than £200, their maximum sentence is six months rather than seven years for thefts worth more than £200, and create a new offence relating to abuse and offence against shop workers.