Tories are ignoring a ‘new street crime wave’, says Labour’s Cooper

The Tories are ignoring a “new street crime wave”, according to shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper, who said Labour will “get the police back on our streets”.

Ms Cooper said a Sir Keir Starmer-led government will put 13,000 more police and police community support officers (PCSOs) back into communities, a move she said was “fully funded and costed”.

She said the cost of up to £400 million would be funded by a crackdown on duplication and bureaucracy in the fragmented system of police procurement across the 43 force in England and Wales.

Speaking to media in Maltby, South Yorkshire, Ms Cooper said: “There’s a new street crime wave happening – a big increase in mobile phone thefts but also real growing problems on anti-social behaviour.

“The Conservatives are just ignoring it and they cut the neighbourhood police we need.

“Labour will set out 13,000 more neighbourhood police and PCSOs in communities across the country, with stronger powers on anti-social behaviour and also work with the mobile phone companies to tackle these thefts that are causing real problems, to keep our streets safe.”

The shadow cabinet member spoke to shop owners and residents in Maltby on Thursday about their experiences of crime and anti-social behaviour.

One florist told her about how she had seen break-ins and mobile phone theft while residents of the Little London estate explained the problems they have with drug dealers, as well as issues caused by private sector landlords.

The former pit village of Maltby is in the Rother Valley constituency which was one of the most surprising gains by the Tories in the 2019 general election, when Labour lost it for the first time for 100 years.

Ms Cooper said: “People need to see the bobby on the beat again, working in communities.”

She the plan to fund the increase in police and PCSO through contract efficiencies was based on work done by the Police Foundation think tank.

She said: “Conservative police and crime commissioners are defending Conservative ministers who have badly failed.

“There are 10,000 fewer neighbourhood police and PCSOs on our streets and people can see it.

“Record numbers of people say now they never see the police on the streets any more.

“That means that, when you feel like crimes are happening, no one comes and nothing is done.

“That’s not good enough. That’s why Labour is setting out this plan to get the police back onto our streets”.