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Portsmouth MP throws weight behind local knife crime crackdown

Stephen Morgan MP has backed Hampshire Constabulary’s participation in Operation Sceptre, a weeklong initiative to tackle knife crime running until Sunday, May 22.

Hampshire and the Isle of Wight is part of 43 forces (England and Wales) and the British Transport Police who will take part in the efforts to crack down on knife crime and violence.

The week of action is an intensification of work that takes place across the county day in day out to tackle knife crime. It will provide an opportunity for local police to focus on the different strands of education, engagement, prevention and enforcement, all of which are important to reduce knife crime.

Engaging with retailers, youth groups and charities will be a crucial part of the week, with police targeting the root causes of knife crime, using early intervention to stop those intent on carrying a knife.

The Police will continue to work closely with young people to further understand the reasons why individuals carry knives and to educate them around the dangers and illegality of carrying one.

The overall aim of the week will be to highlight that there are no positives to carrying a knife.

The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, said:

“The costs of knife crime to our communities are far too great. Nobody should feel unsafe to go about their daily lives in the city they live, day or night.

“That’s why I fully support Hampshire Constabulary’s participation in Operation Sceptre, to tackle both the causes and impacts of knife crime in Portsmouth.

“It’s vital our local police work alongside community groups and businesses so that we can all feel safe and secure. I look forward to learning the outcomes of this week’s efforts in my next regular meeting with the Chief Constable.”

If you are aware of anyone who carries a knife or have concerns that someone you know may carry a knife, report it to police or call crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

The City MP recently joined a night patrol to gain new insights about the specific challenges and issues the area is facing to public safety.

Mr Morgan has backed Labour’s plan to tackle community crime, which includes:

  • New Police Hubs in crime and antisocial behaviour hotspots across the country to get the police back out into the community
  • Neighbourhood Prevention Teams bringing together police and local councils and youth services to tackle antisocial behaviour that is blighting communities
  • Stronger powers for police and local councils to shut down drug dens, and to keep them closed for longer
  • A major recruitment drive to increase the number of special constables
  • Giving victims of persistent antisocial behaviour the same entitlements including access to support services as other victims of crime

The Portsmouth MP has reaffirmed making the city safer a ‘top priority’, after launching a city-wide survey to better understand local views and challenges for antisocial behaviour and public safety in Portsmouth.

You can complete the survey via the link on his website: https://www.stephenmorgan.org.uk/have-your-say-crime-and-safety-in-portsmouth/

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Plan for new Community and Victim Payback Boards to tackle anti-social behaviour backed by City MP

Stephen Morgan MP has backed plans to create Community and Victim Payback Boards (CVPBs) to strengthen community and victim involvement in community sentences, get tough on antisocial behaviour and stop more serious reoffending at source.

Labour’s plan to get tough on low-level offending through unpaid work will begin to rebuild communities’ trust in the criminal justice system, after a decade of court closures, criminal case delays and the decline in community payback under the Conservatives. The new orders and CVPBs will help to reassure communities that crimes are being punished, offenders are being rehabilitated and communities are being paid back.

Community and Victim Payback Boards will be operated by Community Safety Partnerships (or other existing similar local infrastructure), with guidance from the Criminal Justice System, the Local Authority or other key agencies.

CVPBs will operate through existing local infrastructure at no additional cost and create a new level of involvement for community leaders and victims of crime in deciding what unpaid work offenders must undertake, such as removing graffiti, clearing wasteland or re-decorating community centres.

Local data will be published on the nature of unpaid work offenders and showing whether community payback has been completed so that communities and victims can be sure that justice is being served and offenders are paying areas back for their crimes.

Labour’s announcement comes as the party released new research which showed that:

  • The number of community sentences handed down in the South East and Eastern region fell by 3,805, between 2017 and 2020
  • The number of hours of existing community payback being completed by offenders has been falling in every region in nearly every year since 2016

The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, said:

“After 12 years of Conservative government, which has seen record criminal case delays, police officers disappearing from our streets, police station closures and court sell-offs, communities across Portsmouth have lost faith that government is properly supporting our criminal justice system to keep them safe from crime.

“Community payback can stop more serious reoffending, but Judges have stopped handing it out because this soft-on-crime Conservative Government cannot be trusted to make sure offenders pay back for their crimes.

“Labour will put security at the heart of its contract with the British people. We will put communities and victims at the heart of how offenders repay society and make sure justice is being seen to be delivered locally.”

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Portsmouth MP backs plan to crackdown on community crime with new police hubs in every local area

Stephen Morgan MP has renewed his commitment to tackling anti-social behaviour, as new analysis from Labour has shown that 1.2 million incidents of nuisance are recorded in England and Wales every year – equating to over 20,000 incidents every single week.

Labour has accused the Conservatives of abandoning local communities like those in Portsmouth and showing no leadership on anti-social behaviour for a decade.

Some 1.2 million nuisance incidents were recorded in the year ending September 2021, equating to 23,759 incidents every week, and over 3,300 every single day. When expanded to cover personal and environmental ASB such as drug paraphernalia, over 1.6 million incidents of antisocial behaviour were recorded over the last year – over 200,000 higher than pre-pandemic levels.

The Official Opposition wants to see local Police Hubs in towns and communities across the country, bringing together a Neighbourhood Prevention Team made up of police, community support officers, local authority staff and youth workers to tackle anti-social behaviour at source.

These teams would prioritise being visible on patrols, being easily accessible for local residents and would pursue serial perpetrators of ASB or low-level crime, as well as dealing with visible signs of disorder such as broken windows, graffiti, fly-tipping, or drug dealing. These teams will also support victims of anti-social behaviour. Labour councils such as Redbridge are already working in partnership with local police to introduce local hubs.

In September 2020 the Home Secretary wrote to the Victims Commissioner to express her concern about “the serious impact that persistent anti-social behaviour can have on both individuals and communities”. Yet there have been no specific reforms since that point.

Labour’s plan includes:

  • New Police Hubs in crime and antisocial behaviour hotspots across the country to get the police back out into the community
  • Neighbourhood Prevention Teams bringing together police and local councils and youth services to tackle antisocial behaviour that is blighting communities
  • Stronger powers for police and local councils to shut down drug dens, and to keep them closed for longer
  • A major recruitment drive to increase the number of special constables
  • Giving victims of persistent antisocial behaviour the same entitlements including access to support services as other victims of crime

The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, said:

“Communities across Portsmouth are being badly let down by this government.

“Nationally, total crime is going up, prosecutions are going down, criminals are being let off and victims are being let down.

“I saw first-hand during a night patrol last Friday with our dedicated local police officers how they are working to tackle street harassment and anti-social behaviour, but they need far better support from government.

“That’s why Labour would introduce new Police Hubs to bring neighbourhood prevention teams back out into our communities in Portsmouth. We need to see police back on our streets working in communities to keep people safe.”

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City MP joins Police night patrol in latest efforts to tackle street harassment

Stephen Morgan MP has joined local police on a night patrol in Portsmouth in his latest intervention to make the city safer.

The Portsmouth MP joined a local Police Sergeant and others in the city centre on Friday evening to learn further insights about the specific challenges and issues the area is facing to public safety.

The City MP is also encouraging others and local schools to get involved in Our Streets Now’s Anti-Street Harassment Week, which aims to raise awareness and ultimately reduce street harassment through educating young people about the issue.

According to its recent survey, 47% of children didn’t report incidents of public sexual harassment because they were afraid of not being believed or taken seriously.

Meanwhile, recent research from the Labour Party has revealed there are 708 fewer police officers on the frontline in Hampshire than in 2010. There are also 110 fewer community support officers (PCSOs) in Hampshire police force area.

The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, commented,

“On the night patrol I saw first-hand the efforts by the police to keep people safe at night. It was also useful feedback issues in my postbag about crime in our area with the local police team.

“It’s vital we have a visible police presence, particularly at night, to help stop street harassment and violence against women and girls.

“That’s why I’m calling on local schools to get involved in ‘Our Streets Now’s campaign’ to educate young people about street harassment.”

On local police funding, Mr Morgan added:

“Our local police teams are working tirelessly to keep our streets safe, but it’s painfully clear they are having to do more with less.

“This government has continually let down our officers. Hampshire has one of the poorest levels of local police funding and frontline officers in the country, with the Home Secretary handing officers a real-terms pay cut. It’s no wonder the Police Federation has lost its confidence in her.

“I will continue to work on behalf of the city’s police and Portsmouth people to ensure government delivers the fair pay and funding our police deserve, as well as its promises to keep us all safe.”

Mr Morgan has reaffirmed making the city safer a ‘top priority’, after launching a city-wide survey to better understand local views and challenges for antisocial behaviour and public safety in Portsmouth.

You can complete Mr Morgan’s survey via the link on his website: https://www.stephenmorgan.org.uk/have-your-say-crime-and-safety-in-portsmouth/

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Stephen Morgan MP responds to Met Police partygate fines

Responding to reports the Metropolitan Police has issued fines to Downing Street over parties, the Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, said:

“These fines are the final confirmation that illegal parties did take place and that Mr Johnson’s Downing Street broke the law.

“It is disgraceful that while many in Portsmouth and the rest of the country followed their rules, Mr Johnson’s government acted like they didn’t apply to them.

“This has been a slap in the face of the millions of people who made huge sacrifices. The public needs full accountability and transparency. The full Sue Gray report and all accompanying evidence must be published immediately.”

Commenting on whether Boris Johnson should resign, Mr Morgan added,

“My view on Mr Johnson hasn’t changed. But he has made it clear he isn’t going to resign and Tory MPs don’t look like they’re going to act.

“Any other Prime Minister found guilty of a criminal offence would have the decency to resign. But we know this Prime Minister is shameless.

“The culture is set from the very top. The buck stops with the Prime Minister, who spent months lying to the British public, which is why he has got to go.”

 

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A new contract for Britain: Keir Starmer’s speech

Today, Keir Starmer set out his contract for a new Britain.

After over a decade of Conservative rule, there is a cost of living crisis. This government has lost its grip and working people are paying the price.

People’s cost of living continues to increase while wages stagnate – and the country will be hit unfair tax hikes in April.

The Leader of the Opposition said this is Labour’s moment to set out our vision for a new Britain. A country built on the guarantee of security, prosperity and respect for all.

  • Security: Labour will ensure that you feel safe in your neighbourhood and that our NHS is there for you when you need it.
  • Prosperity: We will give everyone the skills they need to prosper and opportunity to thrive.
  • Respect: We will create a country where everyone feels valued for who you are and what you do.

Leader of the Labour Party Keir Starmer said:

“We need a country led by a Labour government; fit for the challenges we face – rebuilding after the pandemic, making Brexit work and tackling the climate crisis head on.

Local elections are on the horizon and we have the opportunity to demonstrate to communities across the country that where the Government turns its back, Labour provides solutions. Let’s get to work – it’s time for a new Britain, it’s time for Labour”.

Examples of what this contract for Britain will mean in practice

Policing and crime prevention

Labour will provide crime prevention teams in every neighbourhood. New Police Hubs will be visible in every community. We will introduce a tough new approach to closing down drug dens with new powers for local police and local authorities.

Police hubs

In every community blighted by anti-social behaviour there will be a Police Hub where you can speak to officers dedicated to dealing with it. Police Hubs will be located in visible and accessible places in communities, providing a place the public can go to talk to the police and other agencies in person about their concerns in an area, as well as providing a visible reassurance to residents who live there.

Neighbourhood Prevention Teams

New Neighbourhood Prevention Teams will bring together police, community support officers, youth workers and local authority staff to tackle anti-social behaviour at source. NPTs will be made up of neighbourhood police officers, PCSOs, youth workers and local authority enforcement officers. These teams would prioritise being visible on patrols and would pursue serial perpetrators of ASB or low-level crime, as well as dealing with visible signs of disorder such as broken windows, graffiti, fly-tipping, or drug dealing. These teams will also support victims of anti-social behaviour.

Next generation neighbourhood watch

  • A next generation neighbourhood watch, harnessing the potential of modern technologies – such as video doorbells, dashcams and WhatsApp – and encourage a virtual approach to sharing advice and gathering intelligence in local communities.

More Special Constables

  • A major recruitment drive to increase the number of Special Constables, whose numbers have fallen sharply since 2010, focusing on community safety up and down the country.

Police funding and staffing numbers

  • Tackle the Tory rise in violent crime and address the huge cuts in police officers, PCSOs and police staff which have made communities less safe.
  • More police focusing on safer streets and tackling violence, through a neighbourhood policing fund which also allows the recruitment of police staff and PCSOs
  • New neighbourhood policing fund (£150m) and violence reduction fund (£22m)

Tackling drug dens

Stronger powers for police and local authorities to shut down premises being used for drug dealing or consumption, as well as action to remove the barriers which prevent existing powers being used. In the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act:

  • Increase the length of time a closure notice could be issued for from an initial 48 hours to 72 hours.
  • Increase the length of time a closure order can be granted from an initial minimum three months to a minimum of six months.
  • We would then extend the ability of an extension for six months up to 12 months

Buy, Make and Sell More in Britain

Britain needs an industrial strategy to improve our productivity to ensure we Buy, Make and Sell more in Britain. And to revive the places that made Britain wealthy.

Labour will make more in Britain by giving more public contracts to British companies, big and small, by:

  • Asking every public body to give more contracts to British firms big and small, using stretching social, environmental and labour clauses in contract design to raise standards and spend and make more in Britain.
  • Passing a law requiring public bodies to report on how much they are buying from British businesses including SMEs.
  • Leading a culture change in government, putting the growth of local industries first, and reviewing the pipeline of all major infrastructure projects to explore how to increase the materials made in Britain, upskill workers to get the jobs of the future.

Labour will help bring jobs of the future to Britain, by:

  • Investing in reshoring jobs in the same way we invest in Foreign Direct Investment, by helping every business considering reshoring access the expertise and support they need.
  • Working with colleges and universities to make sure we’re honing the skills and apprenticeships for the jobs of the future.

Climate investment pledge

At our conference we pledged an extra £28 billion a year in capital investment to combat climate change to create green jobs, to inspire innovation for a clean future. And this promises a future to places that were once defined by what they made but which fell on harder times.

An additional £28bn of capital investment in our country’s green transition for each and every year of this decade. Examples of what it could be spent on: giga-factories to build batteries for electric vehicles, thriving hydrogen industry, offshore wind with turbines made in Britain, more green places and safe cycle paths, planting trees and building flood defences, keeping homes warm and getting energy bills down.

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Portsmouth MP hosts roundtable with key local groups on curbing violence against women and girls

Stephen Morgan MP has hosted a roundtable discussion with key local groups to better understand wider concerns and challenges in tackling violence against women and girls.

Local councillors, women’s groups and key city organisations were invited to share their knowledge and experiences of violence against women and girls in Portsmouth, and what they believe needs to happen to curb the growing problem.

It comes following a spiking in one of the city’s bars and the dismissal of a Hampshire Constabulary police officer for pursuing a sexual relationship with a victim of domestic abuse.

The Portsmouth MP wrote the Home Secretary on Monday to request the case be included in her inquiry into the issues raised by the conviction of Wayne Couzens for Sarah Everard’s murder.

A disciplinary hearing ruled that the Hampshire Constabulary officer, referred to as ‘Officer A’, committed five breaches of regulations through his “inappropriate contact” with the victim. This is despite ‘Officer A’ being specially trained in domestic abuse and specifically assigned to the victim’s case.

The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, said:

“It’s vital that police services can command the confidence of the women and girls they serve, but recent events have undermined that.

“It was really useful to meet key local groups from our city to discuss practical steps to tackle the deeply concerning reports we’ve heard recently – whether that’s police conduct or the spate of nightclub spikings.

“Government needs to get to the bottom of this, and quickly. No matter where you live, or who you are, you should always feel safe to walk the streets you live on and secure in presence of a police officer.”

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Labour’s policing plans would see a ‘new era’ of community safety for Portsmouth – City MP

Stephen Morgan MP has welcomed new plans that the next Labour Government would bring back neighbourhood policing to tackle the epidemic of anti-social behaviour, saying it would bring about a ‘new era’ for community safety.

The Portsmouth MP has long called for changes to local police funding and a boost to police numbers to tackle anti-social behaviour and violence against women and girls.

Accusing the Conservatives of being “soft on crime and soft on causes on crime”, Shadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds will announce Labour’s new plans for increased visible policing, including:

  • An increased police presence in communities with the national rollout of Police Hubs, each with its own Neighbourhood Prevention Team to ensure anti-social behaviour and other crimes in the communities are tackled quickly;
  • Police Hubs, located in visible and accessible places in communities, providing a place the public can go to talk to the police and other agencies in person about their concerns in an area;
  • Neighbourhood Prevention Teams bringing together police, community support officers, youth workers and local authority staff to tackle anti-social behaviour at source. They will be connected into a next generation neighbourhood watch, which will bring people together to share advice and information about their area through online networks and backed with a tough approach to closing down drug dens;
  • A major recruitment drive to increase the number of Special Constables, whose numbers have fallen sharply since 2010; and
  • A new Child Exploitation Register for those convicted of modern slavery offences linked to county lines drug dealing.

Since 2010, the Conservatives have slashed police funding by £1.6 billion and cut thousands of police from our streets.

Meanwhile, recent research from the Labour Party has revealed there are 708 fewer police officers on the frontline in Hampshire than in 2010. There are also 110 fewer community support officers (PCSOs) in Hampshire police force area.

The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, said,

“For years now, maintaining community safety in Portsmouth has become increasingly challenging as local services continue to experience chronic underfunding and support.

“A Labour government would see an end to this, putting police back on our streets, with stronger powers to keep our communities safe.

“I’ve committed to making our city safer a top priority of mine and these plans implemented with Labour in power will enable us to see that change and bring about a new era of community safety in Portsmouth.”

In addition to making the city safer a ‘top priority’, Mr Morgan has also launched a city-wide survey to better understand local views and challenges for antisocial behaviour and public safety in Portsmouth, regularly met with police to discuss issues and concerns, as well as campaigning for fairer funding for Hampshire Constabulary.

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Making our city safer: local MP joins Police night patrol in latest action to tackle crime

Stephen Morgan MP has joined local Police on a night patrol in Portsmouth in his latest intervention to help support those working to make the city safer and bring down crime.

The Portsmouth MP joined a local Police Sergeant and others in the Charles Dickens area on Friday evening to learn further insights about the specific challenges and issues the area is facing to public safety.

The patrol also included an opportunity for the local representative to hear first-hand how junior officers are being coached, with one being tutored as part of the late-night exercise.

It comes after the city MP recently made making the city safer a ‘top priority’, after launching a city-wide survey to better understand local views and challenges for antisocial behaviour and public safety in Portsmouth.

Meanwhile, recent research from the Labour Party has revealed there are 708 fewer police officers on the frontline in Hampshire than in 2010. There are also 110 fewer community support officers (PCSOs) in Hampshire police force area.

The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, commented,

“On the night patrol I saw first-hand the challenges we are facing locally to protect public safety. It was a useful opportunity to share constituent concerns about crime in the local area directly with those who are working to keep us safe.

“Our local Police officers are working tirelessly to keep our streets safe, but it’s painfully clear they are having to do more with less.

“This government has continually let down our officers. Hampshire has one of the poorest levels of local police funding and frontline officers in the country, and now the Home Secretary has given officers a real-terms pay cut. It’s no wonder the Police Federation has lost its confidence in her.

“I will continue to work on behalf of the city’s police and my constituents to ensure government delivers the fair pay and funding our police deserve, as well as its promises to keep us all safe.”

You can complete Mr Morgan’s survey via the link on his website: https://www.stephenmorgan.org.uk/have-your-say-crime-and-safety-in-portsmouth/

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Tory spin on police numbers exposed as 19 per cent drop in frontline police at Hampshire police force

New Labour analysis lays bare the huge gaps in the workforce at Hampshire police after ten years of Tory cuts.

Over the course of the last decade under successive Tory governments, the number of police on the streets in Hampshire has been decimated.

Research from the Labour Party reveals there are 708 fewer police officers on the frontline in Hampshire than in 2010. There are also 110 fewer community support officers (PCSOs) in Hampshire police force area.

To put pressure on the Government to properly support our police forces and put more criminals behind bars, the Labour Party, led by Keir Starmer, has launched its Safer Communities campaign, with pledges to crack down on anti-social behaviour and end violence against women and girls.

Stephen Morgan, MP for Portsmouth South, said:

“A decade of Conservative cuts has left police officers doing more with less.

“These cuts undermine the efforts of hard-working frontline officers and have real consequences for the fight against crime. Crime is on the rise and Hampshire police responses have had to be rationed.

“Instead of funding and paying our police force fairly, the Tories offer only pay cuts and gimmicks. Its time this government took the safety of our communities seriously and gave us back our bobbies.”

Sarah Jones MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Policing and the Fire Service, said: 

“The Tories have spent a decade cutting our police workforce, leaving communities across the country exposed.   

“These figures expose the decimation the Tories have caused community policing. While cuts to police staff mean that even new police recruits will end up behind desks backfilling staff roles, instead of on the beat.  

“The Government’s new crime plan is in reality a bunch of rehashed policies designed to distract from the damage they have caused. When coupled with an insulting police pay freeze and failure to consult them on the crime plan, it’s no wonder frontline police have lost confidence in the Home Secretary.”