Opinion: Peterborough police handcuffed in fighting crime

Councillor Shaz Nawaz, Labour Group leader on Peterborough City Council, writes...

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 20th March 2022, 4:45 pm

There has been a spate of burglaries in Peveril Road, which is in my constituency, Park Ward.

To date, six homes have been invaded, so it’s clear this a targeted effort. These crimes have had a heavy impact on the victims. The neighbourhood has been understandably unsettled.

One parent told me that her children can’t sleep at night. Another has not left his home since the burglaries started.

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This is unacceptable.

The police are facing huge challenges as their budgets have been significantly cut. Even though the police are now recruiting additional officers, it takes time to train them.

The Conservatives have, in effect, handcuffed the police and yet expect a pre-cuts level of service. MP Paul Bristow wrote a letter to the police demanding action, which considering his party’s actions is about as effective as casting a penny into a well and wishing for better.

Perhaps he should be lobbying his government so the police get more and better resources.

I urge Darryl Preston to support the police and call on the government to prioritise tackling crime. I keep getting told burglaries are a key priority, but if you ask the residents of Peveril Road they will believe the opposite.

In fairness, the police have been working hard. I want to especially thank Chief Constable Nick Dean and Area Commander, Superintendent Neil Billany.

Both these officers have been incredibly helpful and are making progress with their line of enquiries.

Another urgent and significant issue I receive numerous calls about is the cost of living.

Many families in Peterborough are beyond struggling now. Energy prices are set to rise again. The government needs to step in to introduce a windfall tax on energy companies to mitigate the problem; the cash generated should then be used to support families with the cost of living.

It simply isn’t good enough for MPs to post photos at food banks when the party they represent is turning a blind eye to the facts. We are one of the richest countries in the world, so why do we need food banks? Why is there not enough for all? Why can’t we all make a decent living?

I see first-hand the great work that volunteers do at food banks and I want to thank them for their contribution to society. I am pleased to say that several Labour councillors regularly donate food and help out at food banks.

This government claims to be on the side of hard-working people, but both crime and the cost of living show their inherent disrespect. Rather, the Conservatives are the party that looks after the elite. This was driven home in recent days when anarchists invaded a mansion allegedly belonging to a Russian oligarch. The police response was massive. Could anyone living in a modest home in Peterborough expect a tenth of that level of service?

We know the Conservatives appear to like handing our contracts to their cronies. We also know their leader doesn’t respect laws that he himself creates. Enough is enough.

The government must understand this country would come to a standstill if it weren’t for all the great work that the true majority does; the majority who do the bulk of the working, the paying of taxes, the struggling, the striving, and they should be supported.