Shadow home secretary pledges community policing focus on Ipswich visit

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper while on her visit to Ipswich.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper while on her visit to Ipswich. - Credit: JASON NOBLE LDRS

Labour's shadow home secretary has pledged to focus on neighbourhood policing while on the campaign trail in Ipswich.

Yvette Cooper visited Suffolk's county town on Tuesday morning ahead of next week’s Ipswich Borough Council elections.

“I think Labour has changed since the 2019 election, we have a new leader,” she said.

“We have got Labour councillors working really hard here in Ipswich and people working hard right across the country to rebuild support and to earn back support. 

“We have got to earn back that trust and support, and I think we are offering a really serious alternative to the real shambles we have got from the Government at the moment.”

Yvette Cooper along with Ipswich Labour campaigners.

Yvette Cooper along with Ipswich Labour campaigners. - Credit: IPSWICH LABOUR

Ms Cooper, who served as work and pensions secretary under Gordon Brown, said voters had raised the issue of town-centre CCTV on the doorstep, and said the party wanted to prioritise neighbourhood policing that had been “decimated under the Conservatives”.

“We have got 7,000 fewer neighbourhood police officers than we had even in 2015, and you can see the consequences of that because it means they are not able to tackle crime at the early stages to take that prevention work on anti-social behaviour,” she said. 

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“We want neighbourhood prevention teams set up everywhere right across the country, and we also want action to make sure that criminals are caught. 

“Right now there has been a big drop in arrests, a big drop in prosecutions, a big drop in community penalties and that means more criminals are getting away with it and more victims are being let down.”

Ms Cooper said the £250million for the new royal yacht, Britannia, announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson last year could instead be used to fund new neighbourhood policing hubs.

Conservative MP for Ipswich, Tom Hunt, is among the Suffolk MPs calling on the Government to urgently review the police funding formula to ensure the county was fairly funded for tackling crime and anti-social behaviour.

Meanwhile, Ipswich Conservatives have listed tackling crime and anti-social behaviour among their three top priorities in the 2022 local elections, with their election literature pledging to “collaborate with partners to investigate and fund extra visible police presence around the town centre, operating on a zero-tolerance basis”.

The local election is on Thursday, May 5, with polling stations open between 7am and 10pm.