THE Government’s first duty should always be to try to protect people and keep them safe. While there are other things to do, they should never lose sight of this. It is what the public expect from their Government, writes MP Philip Davies. Recently, there has been a worrying increase in crime in Yorkshire and I want to see the Government doing more to tackle this. For example, figures released earlier this year show that crime across the Shipley constituency rose 17 per cent from 5,479 in 2015 to 6,465 last year. Burglaries saw a huge increase of 47 per cent from 500 to 735. It is a fact that police officers, who are doing a fantastic job, are overstretched. We need more police officers.
It is quite right that the Government gets a grip on public spending, but I have no problem at all with spending more money on more police officers. Preventing and reducing crime not only makes people safer, but it saves money in other ways. Having fewer police officers while we are wasting billions of pounds on overseas aid is indefensible as far as I am concerned.
Sending money to corrupt projects overseas and wasting money in a bid to meet a massive artificial target of spending is scandalous when that money could be much better used – the police being a prime case in point. Not only do we need more police officers, but we need the ones we have to be allowed to do their job. We need them to stop being forced to waste time on all the politically correct nonsense that comes out of the wrong PC Handbook.
It is a sad sign of the times, as far as I am concerned, that on their website West Yorkshire Police chiefs seem very pleased to have been nominated in the National Diversity Awards in the “Diverse Company” category. West Yorkshire police chiefs should be more concerned with crime and what is happening on the streets than appointing, for example, a “Positive Action Co-Ordinator”. The fact that this award was sponsored by MI5 beggars belief as does the sponsorship of other prizes by GCHQ and the Army. I really do find myself saying all too often these days that the world has gone mad. Another unbelievable sign of the times is that after proudly launching the Hate Crime Action Plan, the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, found her own speech on immigration being reported as a hate incident. It is incredible that the police had to spend even a nanosecond considering this rubbish instead of getting on with the very important job in hand. One other way the Government could quickly help reduce crime is to make people serve the sentences they are handed down. Or, at the very least, ensure that they go back to prison for the rest of their sentence if they are let out and either breach their licence conditions or reoffend.
As I have previous mentioned in this newspaper, the 28 day all-inclusive mini- breaks that they are pathetically being given right now on a worryingly regular basis are not helping to keep crime down and these Fixed Term Recalls should be abolished immediately. We should return to normal recalls for the entire sentence as the public expects to happen. This pathetic slap on the wrist of the offender is a slap in the face to the local police who have no doubt spent considerable amounts of time and effort getting the criminals convicted in the first place. I can’t imagine how demoralising that must be for police out on the streets day in day out trying to do keep crime down and our communities safer. The more criminals who are in prison means there are fewer criminals out on the streets committing crime. The Conservative Party has a long history of being seen as the party of law and order, and one that can be trusted to do its best to keep us all safe. I fear that it appears to be veering off course thanks to politically correct trends and influences from lily-livered liberal sources. I sincerely hope the party gets back on track and the steps I have mentioned above would help do just that.
Philip Davies is the Conservative MP for Shipley.
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