THE Shadow Home Secretary visited Chester yesterday to outline Labour’s plans to improve policing.
Yvette Cooper visited the Quaker Meeting House, Frodsham Street, to host a question and answer session with voters about Labour’s plans for crime and policing ahead of the General Election in May.
Ms Cooper said Labour would scrap “unpopular” Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) and give the money back to frontline policing.
She said: “Scrapping PCCs would save £50 million in the next year, which could save 1,000 police officers jobs across the country.
“In other areas, services could be saved, gun licences are subsidised, scrapping that would save £20m and there are also a whole host of ways which local forces could work together more to save hundreds of millions to improve frontline policing.”
Questioned about whether she thought taxpayers in Cheshire should be asked to pay an extra £3 a year on their council tax bills to fund more policing – which is being proposed by John Dwyer, Cheshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, she said it was “for the local area to decide” but added: “The majority of the funding for policing comes nationally. My concern is the scale of the national cuts has put some forces in really difficult positions.”
She said the power to sack the chief constable which the PCC currently has would be passed to the local authority for elected members to exercise.
Ms Cooper, MP for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford in Yorkshire, outlined plans to tackle domestic violence and sex offending.
She said: “Reports are going up but prosecutions are falling. These are for things like rape, the most serious types of crime, where people are not being brought to justice.
“We want to create a Commissioner for Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse, like the Children’s Commissioner who can make sure standards are raised. We want compulsory sex education which has zero tolerance of violence within relationships.
“We should be starting from the very beginning by teaching respect in relationships.”
See full story in the Chester Leader