Labour unions representing workers across North Somerset call upon everyone to support Kerry Barker for Police and Crime Commissioner!
Trade unions have been campaigning against austerity for over a decade. We know that public services such as mental health support, drug and alcohol misuse prevention agencies and domestic abuse refuges play an important role in preventing crime. When these services are reduced alongside drastic cuts to the police and other Criminal Justice Agencies, then an increase in crime seems inevitable.
Although austerity was introduced by the Tory Government, we believe that the changes to the Police Force implemented by the Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner have not been the right approach. In North Somerset, we have seen police stations close across the district, a cut in overall local police numbers with the loss of our more experienced police officers, and the dismantling of specialist teams such as the district’s Domestic Abuse and Child Abuse Investigation Teams.
Unfortunately, data obtained by Kerry Barker shows that, as expected, these changes have adversely impacted upon the quality of policing in our district. For example, between 2012 and 2019, the number of violent and sexual offences in North Somerset increased from 471 to 1485, whilst the detection rate for these crimes decreased from 55% to 11% in the same period. Worryingly, these figures are mirrored across almost all crime types.
Unions will continue to oppose further cuts to our public services and support work to improve policing. This is not just because cuts to services affect our jobs but because, when crime escalates, we all suffer, whether we are at work or at home.
We believe that only an ambitious, co-ordinated regional strategy between a Labour PCC, Labour councillors and public sector professionals can put in place the fundamental, wide scale and joined-up policies which are needed to improve community safety for everyone in North Somerset. That is why Labour Unions support Kerry Barker for Police and Crime Commissioner.
Louise Branch – North Somerset Labour Trade Union Liaison Officer