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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.

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.

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 MP: Roll-out of vaccine is a feat our country can be proud of

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The roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine is a feat which our country can be proud of. I am grateful for the dedication of NHS staff and all the workers and volunteers involved in protecting our nation at this time.

At locations throughout Sussex, including at Crawley Hospital, people are receiving Covid vaccines as part of our fightback against the virus.

There are now more than 1,000 GP services and over 250 hospital sites now offering vaccinations in England.

Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust is the lead provider for the vaccination programme locally and they are looking for people to play their part in the vaccine roll-out.

The NHS are calling for potential vaccinators and volunteers to help protect millions of people from Covid, and want people who are able to work as flexibly as possible, including at evenings and weekends. I am grateful to everyone who has signed up already with more opportunities still available.

If you would like to help or are interested in finding out more, please click here for information from the Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust, and click here if you are interested in other volunteering opportunities as part of the NHS Volunteer Responder scheme.

Henry Smith MP
Crawley Constituency

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