Home Secretary's vow for more visible policing to aid violent crime crackdown

Priti Patel has said she will back West Midlands Police to go after criminals "in a way that hasn't happened for 10 years".

Home Secretary Priti Patel on a visit to West Bromwich
Home Secretary Priti Patel on a visit to West Bromwich

Priti Patel hailed a return to neighbourhood policing as she vowed the region's force would be fully equipped to tackle violent crime.

The Home Secretary said she was backing West Midlands Police with the resources needed to go after criminals "in a way that hasn't happened for 10 years".

She said it was vital that violent crime in the region went down after years of increases, with more neighbourhood officers helping the cause by increasing police visibility.

Mrs Patel was in the Black Country to back Conservative Jay Singh-Sohal's campaign for West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).

She met with Chief Constable Sir David Thompson before walking the streets of West Bromwich, popping into the New Square shopping centre and chatting with shoppers and traders on High Street.

West Bromwich has seen a number of violent incidents in recent months, including several stabbings, a hammer attack and gang violence.

Giving her support to Mr Singh-Sohal's plans to put 350 new officers into Neighbourhood Policing Units, the Home Secretary told the Express & Star: "People want to see more community policing.

"We want more police visibility and more local patrols. That's why we are recruiting so many police officers. Neighbourhood policing is back."

Officer numbers in the West Midlands went down by more than 2,000 over the last 10 years but have started to rise again since the Government launched a recruitment drive for 1,200 officers by 2023.

Mrs Patel accused Labour PCC David Jamieson of failing the people of the region by overseeing rising violent crime and knife crime.

She said "the money is there" for the force to increase resources and reduce crime, and that changes to legislation such as the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill would toughen up sentencing and help make the streets safer.

Mr Jamieson said: "West Midlands Police have been hit harder by the Tory government's cuts than any force in the country. We've lost 2,000 officers and are only set to get around half back.

"The Home Secretary should be apologising for her government's cuts to policing over the last decade."

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News