Another month goes by and Crawley sees another major crime take place in the heart of our community. I’m sick of it and I know most residents feel the same as I do, we shouldn’t be forced to put up with crime on our streets. I regularly have residents writing to me about things they’ve reported which haven’t been investigated and telling me on the doorstep that the ongoing wave of drugs and violence on Crawley’s streets is one of their biggest concerns.

Last Summer, when I called for the Police to be given more resources to get crime under control I was condemned by our local Conservative elite. We had the Police and Crime Commissioner telling us there wasn’t a problem and that the Police Force had all the resources it needed. Yet, here we are months later and the problem simply isn’t going away. It’s time ‘the powers that be’ took their fingers out of their ears and started to listen to what we are all telling them.

Since the 2010 General Election, our area has lost over 700 police officers. Is it any wonder that we see crime going up? For all their boasting about new recruitment, when you take into account the number of police retiring from the force over the next few years they are recruiting less than a third of what they have cut.

Our police do an amazing job, but no matter how capable a team, how on Earth are they supposed to restore order when the Government insists they do it with such low numbers?

Enough is enough, Crawley needs its police back and an end to the wave of drugs and violence plaguing our community.

Unfortunately, Crawley Borough Council isn’t in control of the Police and, while a number of failings on the Police and Crime Commissioner’s part have been highlighted in the past, it’s ultimately central government which sets their grant. If this Government won’t give us the police the town needs, then maybe it’s time the country took Labour up on its offer of an extra 10,000 officers back on the beat.

Cllr Peter Lamb

Leader, Crawley Borough Council

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