Shadow Home Secretary highlights knife crime in Wiltshire ahead of Swindon visit

By Jessica Durston - 23 February 2023


Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper MP will visit Swindon to meet with neighbourhood police and local organisations tackling knife crime.

New research figures show that the number of knife offences reported to Wiltshire Police has more than doubled since 2015. 

There were 134 offences in 2015, which rose to 274 last year - meaning an increase of more than 100%.

Across the South West region, knife crime has increased by 87% since 2015. Meanwhile, new police workforce figures show the South West has lost 35% of its PCSOs since 2010. 

Labour say that nationally, the number of PCSOs has halved since the Conservatives came to power in 2010 and neighbourhood officers are down by 6,000 since 2015.

The Labour Party has pledged a £360m neighbourhood policing package, putting 13,000 additional neighbourhood officers and PCSOs on Britain’s streets.

Labour are also promising new action to tackle knife crime including tough measures against online sites selling and promoting dangerous knives, cracking down on the gangs who are recruiting children by making the grooming of kids for crime a specific criminal offence, and providing new youth mentors in communities to work with teenagers who are at risk.

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said: “Knife crime is devastating and leaves families and communities bereft. In Wiltshire and other areas across the South West, it has doubled in recent years, but the Conservative Government has failed to act. They’ve taken police off the streets just when we need them most. We can’t carry on with Government turning its back on communities and young people who need help.

“The next Labour government will take knife crime seriously, taking the strongest action against online sites promoting and selling dangerous knives, cracking down on the gangs who are dragging kids into crime and putting 13,000 extra neighbourhood police and PCSOs on Britain’s streets.”

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