The news that recorded crime is up across the parliamentary estate should come as no great surprise. With thousands of people working in Parliament and more than a million visitors annually there’s no reason why such an iconic place should be immune from the rise in crime nationally. We are paying the price for cuts in police numbers – more than a thousand officers in Northumbria alone. Too many communities live in fear of anti-social behaviour and violent crime. The nature of crime is changing. Cyber crime and hate crime have surged particularly since the growth of social media. Bullies and cowards assume the anonymity of their online presence gives them cover to spread their prejudice. That is one of the key drivers of the rise in recorded crime across parliament with a huge increase in both online and physical threats since the EU referendum. My constituents expect us to be tough on the perpetrators of crime but also to prevent crime in the first place. Whether it’s the women I met at a refuge last week who want earlier action to prevent breaches of restraining orders or Queen Alexandra students who discussed a public health approach to tackling knife crime. That’s why in the police and crime commissioner by election on 18th July we need to elect someone who will get the police the resources they need and the public a voice in how they are used.

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