Shadow Home Secretary praises work to build safer communities

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper has praised the work of Greater Manchester’s Police and Crime Commissioner in building safer communities.

Speaking at the Labour Party Conference in Manchester, Ms Cooper confirmed that Labour will scrap police and crime commissioners if the party wins the next election and promised a system of ‘stronger accountability as part of a new devolution settlement’.

She said despite flaws in the system, introduced by the Government in November 2012, Tony Lloyd has worked hard to make it work.

Tony said: “I have always said that there are fundamental flaws in the current system, from accountability gaps and a lack of coherent scrutiny mechanisms. Despite that Labour commissioners have achieved a great deal, including better scrutiny of the police and bringing together partner agencies to build safer communities. “

He adds that democratic accountability must not be lost from what replaces commissioners and will be working closely with Yvette Cooper, her team and fellow commissioners to bring forward proposals that have local people at the heart.

The Shadow Home Secretary also vowed to reverse further planned cuts to policing next year which would see almost 300 police officer posts saved in Greater Manchester, and plough money saved from axing commissioners ploughed into frontline policing.

“We have already lost around 1,500 police officers from the streets of Greater Manchester and crime is on the rise for the first time in 20 years,” said Tony. “My calls to the Government to rethink the cuts to policing have repeatedly fallen on deaf ears so I welcome the Shadow Home Secretary’s vow to do just that.”

Ms Cooper also announced plans to tackle domestic violence with the creation of a domestic abuse commissioner and additional funding for women’s refuges.

Tony said: “In Greater Manchester, we’ve been doing a lot of work to raise awareness of domestic violence and encourage victims to get help but there are still too many people suffering in silence. That’s why it’s essential that there are safe places for victims and their children to get the help and support they need.”

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