Thursday, January 18, 2007

Devolution of crime busting key to local communities

Devolving crime busting in Wales to local communities like Bridgend will be the key to tackling petty crime, vandalism and binge drinking in our neighbourhoods, Hazel Blears (pictured) said yesterday.

On a visit to Wales the Labour Party Chair said that party proposals to give citizens in Wales a greater say on how crime and anti-social behaviour is tackled in their communities is an important step in the right direction.

A third term Labour Assembly Government would provide greater powers for local people to make their communities safer.

Local people who have to put up with the intimidation, graffiti and boy racers in places like Bridgend will benefit from greater power to tackle these issues in our neighbourhoods.

Labour will give more power to Community Safety Partnerships, so that councils like Bridgend can work with community activists and local people to focus on anti-social behaviour.

Labour introduced the Assembly Government’s Crime Fighting Fund (currently £124 million a year) which will target local initiatives to keep youth offenders from re-offending and give more funding for drug and alcohol misuse projects, targeting a major cause of crime.

As Hazel Blears said during her visit,

‘’Welsh Labour will make tackling crime and its causes a top priority for a third Assembly term. Crime is falling because of the strong partnership between Labour in Westminster and Labour in the Assembly."

"But we need to concentrate more on the kind of petty crime that drags down whole neighbourhoods, such as vandalism and binge drinking."

"We believe local people know best how resources should be targeted in their communities to deal with anti-social behaviour. We want to give people more power to build strong communities they can be proud of."

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