I will continue to support our police

AGAINST: Crawley MP Henry Smith has been one of the most vocal critics of Theresa May's deal
AGAINST: Crawley MP Henry Smith has been one of the most vocal critics of Theresa May's deal

An issue which is often raised with me is the need for more support for our police officers, and I act in Parliament accordingly.

Last week, I voted for the government’s plans for increased police funding of up to £970 million. This marks the biggest increase since 2010 to ensure our police have the resources they need.

This will include increases in government grant funding, full use of precept flexibility, support for pensions costs in addition to increased national funding to meet threats from counter-terrorism as well as serious and organised crime. In Sussex, this could see a funding increase of 8.4 per cent; an increase of up to over £22 million. We have already seen Sussex’s Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC), Katy Bourne, take action which will see an increase of 200 new officers.

The new funding settlement will enable locally-elected PCCs to take decisions to suit their local communities, and explain to their electorate how this additional investment will help deliver a better police service.

Unfortunately, Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour MPs voted against this police funding increase.

In recent months I have spoken in Parliament urging action to tackle county lines drug running. The £40 million Serious Violence Strategy identifies the changing drugs market as a key driver of violence. It includes a range of actions such as early intervention and partnership working to tackle the issue of ‘county lines’ and its implications for drugs, violence and exploitation of vulnerable people.

This includes £3.6 million to establish a new National County Lines Co-ordination Centre. The strategy outlines actions to be taken which will address serious violence and builds on existing work to counter knife crime, gun crime and acid attacks.

Support for our police, who work every day to keep us safe, to deal with such issues is a cause I will continue to pursue.

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Last week’s column: https://www.crawleyobserver.co.uk/news/improving-cancer-care-1-8801664