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City MP announces major community policing consultation

Stephen Morgan MP has orchestrated a large-scale open consultation giving local residents the chance to have their say on the future of Portsmouth policing.

Answering constituent concerns alongside the Portsmouth South representative will be leading national policing figure and Chair of the Police Federation, John Apter and the city’s District Commander has also been invited to attend.

Mr Morgan said:

“From chatting to local residents on the doorstep and through communicating through my office, I know issues relating to police and crime are high on the agenda for Portsmouth people.

I believe that the community must be at the centre of discussions driving change and that Portsmouth people should have direct access to both their elected representatives and those tasked with keeping them safe.

That is why I have organised this open consultation. This is about frank, open discussion with the community at the heart of it.”

The Office for National Statistics showed that in 2018 there was a 27 percent increase in possession of weapons, a 17 percent rise in sex crimes, a 33 percent hike in robbery and an 11 percent increase in violence in Hampshire. This has meant that issues relating to policing and crime are a key community concern.

Mr Morgan said:

“Having been out with bobbies on the beat in every patch in my constituency, I have seen first-hand the challenges faced by our police force and the types of crime our community deals with daily.

In Hampshire alone we have 1,050 less officers than we did in 2010 and funding is down by a staggering 19%. This means that at a time when we have more crime, there are less officers and resources to deal with it.

Inevitably this means that it is our police force and our community who pay the price for Government funding cuts to public services. For this reason, it is essential that people have a platform to be heard.”

The city MP is no stranger to making a stand over policing and has already launched an online petition, has been out in every ward in his patch with local officers, regularly meets with the District Commander and Police Federation and has raised the issue consistently in parliament.

The event will be taking place on Friday 8 November 2019 at St Georges Church, Portsea, Portsmouth PO1 3AT on Friday 8 November from 17:00 until 18:30. Mr Morgan has stated that all Portsmouth residents are welcome.

Book your place at the event here: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/policing-in-portsmouth-public-meeting-tickets-79200714469

To show support for the campaign please visit: http://www.stephenmorgan.org.uk/police/

 

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City MP slams Government over relentless cuts to Portsmouth police

Stephen Morgan MP has hit out at the Government over issuing misleading statistics when it comes how many bobbies will be on the beat in our community. The MP’s concerns are raised on the same day that Mr Johnson revealed that far fewer officers will be reaching Hampshire than previously pledged.

The Government’s flagship officer recruitment pledge has been called into question after initial allocations reveal more than half of forces will remain below 2010 levels, and numbers have been merged with Counter-Terrorism and National Crime Agency personnel.

On this, Stephen Morgan MP said:

“Like most policy announcements coming from Mr. Johnson, the moment you apply any scrutiny they crumble to dust. The announcement that our region is getting many more officers is no exception.

I have been taking action for some time both in parliament and locally over the lack of bobbies on the beat, urging Government to take notice and get more police on our streets in Portsmouth.

Mr Johnsons’ pledge to reinstate any police officers that the previous Tory and Lib Dems cut is nothing more than a farce with the figures actually including new personnel from the Counter-Terrorism Unit and staff at the National Crime Agency.”

Commenting Louise Haigh MP, Shadow Policing Minister said:

“Like elsewhere in Boris Johnson’s Premiership, the lofty promises he made in Downing Street have fallen apart when exposed to scrutiny.”

The truth is the brutal cuts he and his colleagues voted for will not be reversed and our local communities will be continue to be at risk as a result.”

In Hampshire, The Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that in 2018 there was a 27 percent increase in possession of weapons, a 17 percent rise in sex crimes, a 33 percent hike in robbery and an 11 percent increase in violence against the person. There was also a total of 150 child grooming crimes recorded in Hampshire.

Mr Morgan said:

Figures show that Hampshire now has 1,050 less officers than it did in 2010, a catastrophic 28% decrease. It is the people of Portsmouth and our brave officers who have to deal with the consequences of less police and more crime.

Cuts have consequences and in our area with a combination of fewer officers with less equipment, criminals are facing less of a risk. The Government is failing when it comes to keeping our city’s communities safe and setting officers in good stead to fight crime.

I won’t rest until more police are on Portsmouth streets. I will continue be a strong voice for our officers and our community when it comes to keeping our city safe.”

Cuts are also taking their toll on police personnel. Recent Cambridge University studies showed that 90% of officers had been exposed to incidents of trauma and the study suggests that overall PTSD rates in law enforcement are almost five times higher than general UK population levels. 

Mr Morgan has been calling on Government to make drastic changes when it comes to policing for some time. He has been out in every ward in his constituency with bobbies on the beat, called on Ministers in the House of Commons to step up, brought the Policing Minister to the city and slammed the regime of cuts perpetuated by Tory and Lib Dem Governments. He regularly meets with Hampshire Police Federation to listen to concerns from the police community. 

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“Almost half of all women sent to prison are now homeless” – City MP vows to tackle female re-offending 

During questions in the House of Commons today, Stephen Morgan MP grilled a Government Minister over the lack of funding set aside for the rehabilitation of female offenders and what this means for homelessness.

The Portsmouth South representative subsequently applied further pressure to the link between the Government’s failure and the rising rate of homelessness amongst female offenders.

Mr Morgan said:

“We know that half of all women sent to prison are now homeless, an increase on the previous few years. I find this utterly shocking.

Reoffending costs the British tax payer £18 billion a year and the current system is clearly failing to get offenders back on their feet, preventing them from contributing to society.

The solution to this problem is to invest in alternatives to ineffective short-term prison sentences that are proven to increase reoffending and also to properly fund women’s centers. I am delighted that both notions are Labour party policy.

Under the current system everyone loses out, victims, offenders and the tax payer. This is counterproductive.”

Members of the Government’s own Advisory Board on Female Offenders have expressed their frustration at the limited funding, stating that at least £20m is required annually for community provision. However, the Government only provided a one-off two-year grant of £5m to fund the strategy.

Alongside, supporting Labour party policy to immediately provide funds to women’s centres, give £20 million to women’s justice campaigners and ruling out unjustified short sentences, Stephen Morgan MP been conducting his own work on this matter.

The Portsmouth South MP is hosting a parliamentary event in November alongside Gethin Jones from Unlocking Potential with senior representatives from the Ministry of Justice, private sector, Non-Government Organisations, and senior prison governors. The event seeks to change the narrative of criminal justice to focus more on rehabilitation and inclusive policy towards offenders.

On this action, Mr Morgan said:

Following discussions with offenders right’s organisation, Unlocking Potential I am delighted that next month I will be hosting an event that will help shift the narrative of criminal justice towards prevention and rehabilitation as opposed to incarceration and indifference.

The current system is failing, and we must work to rectify these inadequacies, I will not be wasting any time in engaging with people from all parties and perspectives so that we can get a criminal justice system that is better for offenders, taxpayers and reduces the number of victims.”

Mr Morgan has committed to continuing his campaign for a better-quality criminal justice system and has expressed that he will continue to urge the Government to match Labour’s commitments.