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DERBYSHIRE POLICE STRUGGLING TO TACKLE FURTHER RISES IN KNIFE CRIME”, SAYS PCC CANDIDATE KATE SMITH

July 29, 2020 10:02 PM

Kate Smith PCC Candidate

The Liberal Democrats are warning that overstretched Police in the Derbyshire Force Area are struggling with a surge in knife crime, and are calling for extra funding for Community Police Officers.

According to the most recent ONS figures, the number of offences involving knives or sharp objects has increased in our County to 838 in the year ending March 2020, a 78.4 % rise since 2015.

Currently, our Constabulary has 1800 Police officers (3.4 % down on 2015), 174 Police Community Support Officers, and 165 Special Constables, which is 47 fewer than in 2015.

"The Chancellor's Summer Statement says that he aims for savings on public services. So, despite promises of 20,000 more Police for England and Wales by Johnson, it's looking likely that at least some of those reinforcements won't materialise", says Kate Smith, the Lib Dems' Candidate for Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner. "Worse, the increases in funding in the last few months are not even enough to cover the additional Police pension contributions Forces now have to make."

The Government must give our Police Force the resources it needs to tackle the epidemic of serious violence. Adds Kate, "I agree with our Home Affairs Spokesperson, Christine Jardine MP, that we need not only proper funding for community policing, but also a public health approach to violent crime prevention. Once the immediate Coronavirus crisis is more under control, we urgently need to bring together Derbyshire's Police, teachers, health professionals, parents, youth workers and social services to prevent young people falling prey to gangs, knives and the violence they bring."

NOTES FOR EDITORS AND CORRESPONDENTS

(1) Kate Smith is one of Derbyshire's longest-serving Councillors, and is standing to be Police and Crime Commissioner for the County in the postponed Election taking place on 6 May 2021.

(2) The ONS statistics apply until just after the Coronavirus lockdown; this tends to suppress some criminal activity, so without it these offences would have been higher in the last week of March.

(3) Special Constables are volunteer Officers, with the same training, who help in their spare time.

(4) This piece updates and replaces the release on Knife Crime dated May 2020.

For more information, please contact katesmithlibdem@gmail.com .