Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Letter to the Chronicle

I think the column Words from Westminster should be renamed Spin from Tory Central Office. It is often nothing more than rehashed press releases passed down from Tory high command.

Last week (Chronicle, February 3) was no exception. Nothing more than dodgy claims on rises in violent crime that, if some commentators are right, will result in the Tory Shadow Home Secretary losing his job.

Well the current MP should know better and check his facts before he talks Crewe and Nantwich down, and paints a picture of the area being a violent and dangerous place to live. That simply is not true.

The facts are that that under Labour overall crime has fallen by 36% and violent crime has fallen by 41%. Far from the false Tory statistic of violent crime rising in Crewe and Nantwich by 148% in the last decade, as the MP stated (Chronicle, January 27). I can’t imagine what Cheshire’s Chief Constable or the council’s Safer and Stronger Communities Portfolio Holder thought when they saw that, perhaps they would care to comment?

I would like to thank Cheshire’s police officers and PCSOs for their hard work and dedication to reducing crime in these difficult economic times, unlike the Tories who seem to be suggesting that the police have lost control.

Conventional wisdom tells us that in recessions crime goes up. It rocketed in the Tory recessions of the 1980s and 1990s. However in the recent global economic downturn crime has actually gone down. In the Cheshire Constabulary area overall recorded crime is down by 9% over the last twelve months, with violence against the person down by 6%.

Labour has invested in the police by funding over 10,000 additional uniformed officers and introducing additional measures like ASBOs to help reduce crime and anti-social behaviour. Contrast that with the Tories who would have cut this year’s police budget by 10%, with further savage cuts to come.

Tackling crime needs an open and honest discussion, the current MP has fallen far short of that. Surely he owes the police and the readers of the Chronicle a humble apology for his gross misrepresentation of the truth?

David Williams
Labour's Parliamentary Candidate
for Crewe and Nantwich

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