'Whatever the plan is, it isn’t working' says Labour PCC candidate about violent crime in Bedfordshire
The Labour candidate in the race to be Bedfordshire's next police boss has claimed the strategy to deal with violent crime "isn't working" - amid stark new figures.
Data released by the Office for National Statistics showed 106 firearm offences were reported in the county between April 2019 to March 2020, the joint highest figure since 2007.
In addition, knife crime has doubled in Bedfordshire since 2013.
“How can anyone say that we have a grip on violent crime?” said Dr David Michael, Labour’s candidate for the Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) election.
“We only need to take a look at the local newspapers to see that Bedfordshire has a serious problem with violent crime. It’s time we got our heads out of the sand and got to grips with this crisis.
“I served 30 years with the Metropolitan Police. I was stabbed in the line of duty. I know the crippling impact violent offences have on communities, but importantly, the victims themselves.
"The mental impact that violent crime can have on a person is utterly devastating.
"Only by having proper community policing can we track how these weapons are arriving in our town, when they are changing hands, and when they are at risk of being used in a crime.
"I know that on the ground intelligence is the key to effective policing. You can’t get that while sitting in an office all day.”
> The election for Bedfordshire's next Police and Crime Commissioner takes place on Thursday, May 6, with polling stations open from 7am to 10pm. We will be doing our very best to give coverage to all of the candidates in the race so you can decide who to vote for. Make sure you are registered to vote.