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A SHORT film by the Labour Party shown on TV yesterday evening exposes how ordinary people’s lives have been hit hard by cuts to police officers and community centres.
The documentary-style film features interviewees telling how Tory slashing of police numbers, youth centres and after-school clubs have led to rising crime and left a vacuum in which gangs thrive.
Police numbers have fallen a further 1,213 in the last six months. Over 21,000 police officers have been lost since the Tories came to power in 2010, a reduction of 16 per cent from the 2009 high.
Alisha, a 16-year-old mental health campaigner, talks about the rampant crime in her area, including murders, petrol bombings and people’s houses being “smashed up.”
She says: “I don’t even see police. I don’t see no-one around.”
Wammo is a father-of-four who was shortlisted for the West Cumbria Community Hero Awards last year for having founded a local community group.
He says: “There’s nothing round here for the kids … this age group has been forgotten about.”
Wammo adds that he supports Labour because party leader Jeremy Corbyn “wants good things for the country, especially for my kind of people, working class, down the bottom of the spectrum.”
Tess, a retired youth worker from Millom, Cumbria, flicks through an album of photos from the 18 years she worked in a youth centre that has since been shut down.
“All that funding has been cut. And that’s so sad,” she says.
Martin, a retired police superintendent and former Conservative voter, states: “If a new government is the way it’s going to change, then it’s a new government it’s got to be.”
Speaking about the film, Mr Corbyn said that the interviewees’ stories are invaluable for showing that people on the front line have the skills and knowledge to fix crime and community problems if given the resources and support.
“Austerity is the enemy of security. You can’t have community safety on the cheap,” he insisted.
Labour has pledged to hire an additional 10,000 police officers if it wins power.
Meanwhile, shadow home secretary Diane Abbott welcomed Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s announcement on Wednesday that he is investing an extra £60 million in the Metropolitan Police to put 1,000 extra officers on patrol.
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