Ruth Cadbury backs ‘Happy Valley’ neighbourhood policing plan

Image above: Sarah Lancashire as Catherine Cawood in BBC drama Happy Valley; BBC

Brentford and Isleworth MP calls for surge in neighbourhood policing

Ruth Cadbury MP has backed plans by the Shadow Home Secretary to bring back neighbourhood policing, after new analysis showed a dearth of these roles in London due to funding cuts from the Government

Nationally, just 12% of full-time police officers are designated as in neighbourhood roles – down from 19% in 2015, a drop of 6,000 police officers. The number of police community support officers has halved since the Conservatives came to power in 2010.

The plan, announced by the Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper, would see the equivalent of every constituency in England and Wales getting 15-20 extra neighbourhood police officers. Latching onto the popularity of the TV series, Labour likened them to the fictional character Catherine Cawood from the BBC police drama Happy Valley.

The Brentford & Isleworth MP called on the Government to back the ambitious plan to bring back neighbourhood policing with 13,000 more neighbourhood police on Britain’s streets.

Referencing the scandals which have caused a collapse in faith in the police, including the murder of Sarah Everard by the serving officer Wayne Couzens, and the multiple rapes by David Carrick, Yvette Cooper said only those officers with local connections could rebuild trust.

In the Met’s South West and West London Command Units alone, there have been a number of police officers accused or charged with misconduct since 2021, sexual or otherwise.

Image above: Ruth Cadbury MP, Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper MP

Decade of Government cuts has had ‘huge impact’ on policing

Ruth Cadbury MP said:

“A decade of government cuts to policing has had a huge impact. I know from my recent walk abouts with the police locally that this lack of funding is having a huge impact.

“Cuts to neighbourhood policing has made it harder for the police to carry out regular foot patrols or to monitor high risk areas. That’s why I’m backing this plan to get more neighbourhood police back on our streets.

“Traditional neighbourhood police officers know their patch, know the local area and are crucial in tackling crimes from anti-social behaviour to drug dealing. I know from regularly meeting with them that they play a crucial role in keeping us safe.

“After years of campaigning we’ve seen the difference that the new dedicated neighbourhood team in Hounslow Town Centre has made.

“I now want to see this model rolled out across the country. I’ll continue to campaign for more police on our streets and efforts to tackle crime locally.”

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper MP said:

“The government have completely decimated neighbourhood policing, leaving our communities without the protection they need.

“We have a serious plan to bring back neighbourhood policing, with a fully-funded package for 13,000 extra neighbourhood police on our streets.

“The last Labour government brought in neighbourhood policing, and now, after more than a decade of neglect, we will restore it.’’

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See also: Met Police officers given jail time for offensive WhatsApp messages but bailed

See also: Another west London police officer charged with sexual misconduct as Met put into “special measures”

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