Sir Keir Starmer: 'We will take back our streets'

Under the Tories, our streets have become less safe. In the Humberside Police force area alone last year, there was a 26% increase in robbery, and a 17% increase in shoplifting.

Across the country, over 20 million people witness or experience antisocial behaviour every year. Yet more than half the public say they never see officers on patrol. And almost a quarter of the public says antisocial behaviour is a big problem in their local area – a record high.

Throughout my working life, when I was Chief Prosecutor and since I came into politics, people have tried to tell me that antisocial behaviour is ‘petty crime’. People call it ‘low level’, as if it’s insignificant and unimportant. It is not.


Ask anyone who stays at home in the evening because they’re scared to walk down their street. Ask shop workers who are sworn at and spat at whilst they’re simply trying to do their job. Or communities who are targeted by vandals that damage the services we all rely on.

Anti-social behaviour has a huge impact on people in places like Scunthorpe and Grimsby.

It runs deeper than the damage we can see on our streets. It’s a sign of a breakdown of trust and respect in our communities.

So a Labour government will crack down on antisocial behaviour once and for all.

That starts with community police on our streets. There are nearly 10,000 fewer officers and PCSOs in our neighbourhoods since 2015. So, a Labour government will take back our streets. We’ll put 13,000 more neighbour police and PCSOs back on the beat.

We’ll give them tough new powers to crack down on those who are causing havoc on their highstreets. We’ll have new Respect Orders for repeat offenders, with power of arrest on breach.

Fast-track Public Space Protection Orders will stamp out public drinking and drug use. And we’ll make fly-tippers clear up their own mess.

Finally, we’ll have a new Young Futures programme in local communities to prevent young people being drawn into crime in the first place.

Because I firmly believe that with real opportunities for young people, as well as tough consequences for wrongdoing, we can tackle antisocial behaviour at its roots.

So we’ll restore pride and ambition for young people in communities like Scunthorpe, where I visited the British steel works recently. We’ll have a National Wealth Fund and a new industrial strategy to secure the future of steel and create good jobs for decades to come. We’ll make sure young people have a future worth working for.

Together, we’ll restore the values of trust and respect, encourage pride in local communities, and offer dignity with well-paid jobs.

My Labour Party has a clear and costed plan for economic stability, 13,000 more neighbourhood police, cheaper bills with Great British Energy, secure borders with a new Border Security Command, 40,000 extra NHS appointments each week to slash waiting lists, and 6,500 new teachers in our children’s schools.

This is the choice on offer at this election. But if you want change, you have to vote for it.

This is an opportunity to end the disrespect and division the Tories have presided over the past 14 years.

A chance to stop the chaos, turn the page and start to rebuild our country together.