Keir Starmer MP has accused the Conservatives of letting down the people of Bedfordshire by failing to get a grip on rising violent crime, ahead of a visit today (Friday 9 April).
New analysis by Labour reveals that since 2016, under the current Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner, violent crime in Bedfordshire has risen by 67 percent - with almost 7,000 more violent offences committed in 2020 than in 2016.
Labour's analysis also finds the cost of crime has soared under the Conservatives, with the total cost of crime nationally reaching £95bn in the last year, up from £59bn in 2015/16. It is estimated violent crime in Bedfordshire alone cost £268m last year.
Costs for crimes against businesses have more than doubled nationally, from £8.7bn in 2015/16 to £22.8bn in the year to September 2020, driven by increases in theft and robbery.
The Labour leader will visit Bedfordshire to meet local shopkeepers affected by crime alongside Labour's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) candidate, Dr David Michael, and Labour's Shadow Policing Minister, Sarah Jones.
Starmer will hear from business owners about the improvements needed to keep the local community safe, as figures for the county show burglaries in the last five years have increased 17 percent, while robberies have risen 43 percent.
The visit follows a claim from the local Conservative PCC that she was not standing for re-election because it is “a good idea to quit while you’re ahead.”
Starmer said: “The Conservatives are letting down people and businesses in Bedfordshire by failing to get a grip on rising crime.
“This May’s election is a choice between a Conservative party that has allowed violence to skyrocket on its watch or a brilliant Labour candidate, Dr David Michael, who is serious about tackling and preventing crime and putting victims at the heart of the criminal justice system. David has over 30 years’ experience of protecting the public and keeping our streets safe.
“A vote for a Labour Police and Crime Commissioner is a vote to keep you, your family and your community safe.”