Common sense policing which helps young people and their communities is at risk says MP Steve McCabe

Selly Oak MP Steve McCabe stood up for the rights of young people to be safe in their communities in
Steve highlighted in the debate the impact of cuts to the police budget. In particular, Steve focussed on
·        The fact that young people are more likely to be victims of crime than perpetrators of crime
·        The role the police play in preventing anti-social behaviour by organising sports activities, for example
·        The likely closure of the Birmingham anti-social behaviour unit
Following the debate Steve said:
“I wanted to highlight the vital crime prevention role that the Police play. With police numbers set to be slashed I am concerned that it is this type of policing which will be first on the chopping block.
“In my constituency of Selly Oak it’s common to see the Police playing an active role in working in schools and youth clubs.  It’s a very hands on approach.
“At Highters Heath School, for example, it’s not unusual to see officers taking part in lessons or accompanying children on school trips. It’s part of a project developed by the head teacher Jan Connor in conjunction with her local Police Inspector and Sergeant. They recognised that contact with the police had to be about more than warnings, enquiries or witnessing arrests, so they set out to break down the barriers and build a long term relationship within the community. It will be hard to measure when the accountants want to balance the books but the young people and constituents I speak to tell me that it’s making a difference.  
“Similarly I often get complaints from constituents about anti social behaviour that occurs on the ChinnBrook Recreation ground especially during the lighter nights. The solution in the days of old fashioned, vehicle led, reactive policing might have been to send out a car and issue a few warnings or round up the loudest.  It doesn’t really solve the problem and its risks alienating young people from the police. Last summer I attended a barbecue organised by a local inspector and a sergeant and her team. They sent invites to families across the area. They made it clear that the recreation ground could be used for fun and family events but it had to be shared and the needs of others respected. They worked hard to sign up every youngster who attended for a sports challenge or some other activity to keep them busy on summer nights.
“That’s the kind of policing my constituents want and that’s the kind of policing which pays dividends with young people and it is this kind of common sense policing which I fear is at real risk.”
For a full copy of Steve’s speech please click here.
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