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Labour say they will boost Sussex Police’s gang unit to tackle surge in violence

The party says that Sussex Police will be given the extra staff to tackle its high rates of gang related violent crime.

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In April last year, Labour announced its support for Violence Reduction Units modelled on the Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) in Glasgow, which is responsible for implementing the successful crime reduction initiative.

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The party says their approach of treating violence as a public health crisis has been reported for reducing violent crimes by around 40% over the last decade and murders reduced to their lowest level since 1976.

They say that the expansion of Violence Reduction Units will be complemented by investment to tackle reoffending rates. Labour will fund innovative crime-busting pilot schemes with a £20m annual Justice Innovation Fund for Police and Crime Commissioners and local criminal justice boards where these schemes will develop and trial best practice in reducing re-offending.

They say that re-offending costs are estimated at £18bn per year with re-offending rates at 65% for those released following a short prison sentence.

 Peter Lamb, Council Leader and Labour’s candidate in Crawley, said:  “We’ve all seen the impact of the Conservatives’ cuts in unleashing a wave of crime and antisocial behaviour in Crawley’s town centre and neighbourhoods.

“The Conservatives and the Lib Dems have spent a decade supporting brutal cuts to Sussex Police. There’s no way we can trust them to support our police officers in the future. It’s only by getting real officers back on the beat that we can tackle the problems residents are raising daily in our town.

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Richard Burgon, Labour’s Shadow Justice Secretary, said: “Under the Tories reoffending rates are far too high, meaning more victims of crimes and less safe communities. Labour will prioritise reducing the number of victims of crime and tackling the huge social and economic costs of offending.

“Our Criminal Justice Innovation Fund will help local experts invest in schemes that work best to tackle reoffending in their areas.”

Henry Smith

Henry Smith: Getting Brexit Done in Parliament

In his article this week, Crawley MP Henry Smith talks about finally getting Brexit done.

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After three and a half years, which included one referendum, two general elections, and the British people’s clear decision on each of these occasions, last night in the House of Commons I joined my Conservative colleagues in voting for the EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill at its third reading, which passed by 330 votes to 231.

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This means the Bill has completed its progress through the Commons and now heads to the House of Lords.

This legislation will ensure that the UK ceases to be an EU member at 11pm on 31st January; the EU Communities Act 1972 will be repealed and we will enter the implementation period.

It is time for our nation to focus on other priorities. The Chancellor’s first Budget will take place in March, and will set out this Government’s plans to unleash Britain’s potential.

These include tackling the cost of living for hard-working people, delivering world-class public services like our NHS and investing in green infrastructure to reduce carbon emissions.

At the start of 2020 we can make sure that we enjoy a decade of renewal – let’s take this opportunity and make the most of it.

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Henry Smith MP
Crawley Constituency

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