The proposed sell off of Llanelli Town Police Station is a great cause of concern.
Being the largest town in Carmarthenshire, we need more of a highly visible police presence here, not less. It is vital, especially given the difficulties that our town centre already faces with anti-social behaviour, drugs and other problems, that policing is strengthened, not diminished.
The new facilities in Dafen are to be welcomed but it remains important that local people have an easily accessible, centrally located way to have face-to-face conversations with officers to report crime and discuss worries and concerns. The 101 service for reporting incidents by phone continues to see callers facing long, unsatisfactory waits and while online methods help there is nothing better that in person contact.
I know how much crime continues to be a real concern for our communities.
This is symptomatic of wider issues when it comes to crime and policing and Llanelli is just one example of what is happening across the country. After 13 years of Conservative failure, people no longer feel safe in their homes, on their street or in their community. Levels of violent crime are high across the UK, and more crimes are going unsolved and unpunished. There are thousands fewer officers in communities. More criminals are getting away with it and victims are being let down.
Parents worry about their children playing in the park or being targeted online. Pensioners worry about scams or being robbed in the street. Small businesses worry they will be targeted by thieves or vandals. Knife crime plagues too many communities, women feel less safe on the streets, and anti-social behaviour ruins lives without consequence.
Communities feel under threat, while police have disappeared from our streets, with thousands of neighbourhood police cut. Trials are delayed for years because of the biggest courts backlog on record, with a record number of criminals getting off scot-free. Rape victims are suffering from their ordeal for years while bravely pursuing justice.
People increasingly feel Conservatives have turned their backs on communities, run down public services and undermined respect for the rule of law. When things go wrong, too often no one comes, nothing is done and there are no consequences for law-breakers.
Everyone has a right to feel safe and secure in their homes and in their community. That is why I fully support Labour’s mission is to make Britain’s streets safe again.
If elected at the next General Election, Labour will put 13,000 extra neighbourhood police and PCSOs on our streets. We have already pledged to punish offenders, with tougher sentences for rapists in particular and we will introduce new ‘Respect Orders’, a tough new order with criminal sanctions for persistent antisocial behaviour. We will protect communities and halve violence against women and girls with more police, more action to stop young people being drawn into crime, more prosecutions and by standing up for victims.
Alongside that, you can be assured that I will continue to campaign for more police resources to be allocated to all parts of my Llanelli constituency.
I make no apologies for that. Our concerns deserve to be treated seriously.