One of the few benefits of the Government lock out of MP’s from Parliament, is that I have been able to go to constituency events held during the week. And so it was with a public meeting in New York Primary School to discuss anti-social behaviour. My team and I been working with residents and the police for some time and I was pleased to hear the problems have quietened down. But with darker nights, Halloween and Bonfire Night coming there’s no room for complacency. There’s an ongoing problem with motorbikes however and I would urge anyone with information to tell the police. It is clear that the police have the powers, from our time in Government, to tackle the problem of motorbikes but as a result of cuts in police funding forces now lack enough officers. Nationally there are at least 20,000 fewer officers and here in Northumbria we’ve lost over a thousand. Let me be clear, I welcome the recent announcement by the Government of more cash but when you look at the detail it’s less assuring. It doesn’t look like new money and it’s only for a year, a year in which a General Election is likely. So this is not an end to austerity so much as a pause. Crime is rising and we need sustained investment in more police officers and for key agencies to work closely together. That’s the route to safer communities.

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