East Devon MP backs street by street crime mapping initiative

Hugo Swire takes swipe at Labour for keeping police officers behind desks.

A NEW Government website that maps crime on a street by street basis has been welcomed by East Devon MP Hugo Swire - even though recorded crime in his constituency is well below the national average.

He has described the initiative as “world leading”, saying it gives everyone the opportunity to find out what crime is happening and where.

“Under Labour the police were directed by Whitehall diktat,” he said. “They spent their time chasing centrally-defined targets, not responding to the needs of local communities they were supposed to be serving.

“Despite record spending, bureaucracy and form-filling kept police behind desks.”

According to Mr Swire, a recent report by the police inspectorate showed only 11 per cent of police officers were visible and available to the public at any time.

The Conservative-led coalition government is introducing a series of measures as part of their plan to fight crime:

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• Slashing bureaucracy – steps already taken to save up to 800,000 hours of police time by scrapping the stop form and limiting stop and search reporting.

• Removing all targets and setting the police just one goal: to cut crime.

• Introducing directly-elected Police and Crime Commissioners to ensure that police forces respond to the needs of local communities

• Providing transparent information so local communities really know about crime in their area.

Mr Swire added; “I am really pleased that the Conservative-led government has demonstrated they are serious about cutting the levels of crime and anti-social behaviour in our communities.

“Although East Devon’s crime figures are well below the national average it still means that providing crime data in an open format that anyone can access, even from their mobile, we can all hold the police to account. We can ensure they deal with the issues that actually matter to us locally not those decided by a Whitehall bureaucrat.”

Want to know what crime has been recorded in your street? Visit www.police.co.uk