Labour promises to recruit an extra 13,000 community police in crime crackdown

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Labour will promise to recruit an extra 13,000 community police officers and PCSOs to tackle knife crime and drug dealing if elected.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper is expected to announce the “neighbourhood policing guarantee” on Thursday.

Ms Cooper will also take aim at a deliberately “hands-off Home Office” culture which she will claim has been fostered by the Conservatives over the last 13 years.

The policing guarantee would aim to assign named officers and PCSOs to every community as part of an effort to boost police visibility.

The pledge will also be backed up by new training and technology, with the Opposition claiming that a law underpinning its proposals would be a priority for its Home Office.

In a speech at the Institute for Government think tank, the shadow home secretary will say: “For 13 years, the Conservatives have deliberately run a hands-off Home Office, failing to take proper action on serious areas of rising crime, such as youth knife crime, drug dealing, fraud or town centre anti-social behaviour, and failing to introduce serious policing reform.”

“Their laissez faire approach to crime and policing has badly let communities down.

“Labour will take a fundamentally different approach. We know that strong communities are safe communities. We believe in high standards in public services and in active government.”

She will add: “That’s why a Labour Home Office will work with communities to prevent crime and catch criminals and require new high standards in policing and the criminal justice system.

“At its heart that means rebuilding and renewing the neighbourhood police who are at the heart of our communities and the fight against crime. Labour is the party of law and order.”

The Government insisted it was recruiting the “most police officers we have ever had”, and criticised Labour’s record on crime.

Home Office minister Chris Philp said: “Labour’s announcement today is over four months old and further evidence of their soft on crime approach – their proposed investment is a tenth of what we are delivering.

“Meanwhile this Conservative Government is recruiting the most police officers we have ever had, with 20,000 fully funded extra police officers being recruited by April this year, equipped with full powers of arrest.

“Labour voted against boosting police funding, voted against tougher sentences, including for violent sexual offenders, and they oppose deporting foreign national offenders – they are weak on crime, weak on criminals, and they cannot be trusted to keep our communities safe.”

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