This week Steve McCabe MP met with the Minister for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability (Victoria Atkins MP). The meeting was designed to follow up a number of issues Steve raised in a parliamentary debate in the Commons in October and had originally been arranged with Sarah Newton MP who left the Home Office in the recent reshuffle.
Steve explained to the minister and her officials how some constituents are scared to leave their homes because of anti-social behaviour and gangs of motorbike thugs intimidating whole communities. He praised West Midlands Police for the job they are doing in very difficult circumstances but pointed out that even the Chief Constable had admitted, earlier this year, that the police service will break unless the funding situation improves.
As well as discussing the need for better targeted operations to catch ring leaders and persistent offenders, the meeting also discussed the lack of diversionary activities for youngsters in the area.
The latest crime figures show recorded crime is up 13% on last year. The Selly Oak MP has also conducted his own constituency wide survey which revealed that over half of his constituents have been a victim of crime or know someone close to them who has been a victim of crime within the last 12 months.
In the parliamentary debate Steve McCabe challenged the Government over their appalling record on rising crime and anti-social behaviour. It’s part of a campaign he’s been running for several months designed to ensure more robust action on tackling rising crime and aggressive anti-social behaviour which is plaguing neighbourhoods right across Birmingham.
Steve McCabe MP said:
“I am grateful to the Minister for meeting me to discuss the real concerns of my constituents about crime and anti-social behaviour. Constituents are telling me they are scared to leave their homes and the police say they can’t cope with the funding cuts they are facing. I can’t say I’m expecting miracles following our meeting but I think the minister did recognise that unless there is sustained action to bear down on aggressive anti-social behaviour, it will escalate into gang behaviour in our neighbourhoods and these gangs will progress to very serious criminal activity. Something has to give. I’m clear that we need more police and resources and more effort to divert youngsters from this perilous path. It won’t go away unless we take action and I’m determined not to let it go”