Valerie Vaz MP has raised concerns on rising crime and the closure of Darlaston Police Station at Business Questions on 1 February 2018, and has written to West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson.

Valerie Vaz MP said:

“I am alarmed that quarterly police figures show a 14% rise in recorded crime in England and Wales, the highest annual rise since 1992. Domestic burglary is up 32% and vehicle related crimes have risen by 18%.”

“At Business Questions on 1 February 2018, I raised the case of a young couple in Walsall South who just got married and had their wedding jewellery stolen, and another constituent who gave me a recording from a CCTV camera showing a gang entering a home.”

“The Government’s Police Grant Report was debated in Parliament on
Wednesday 7 February 2018. The Police Grant for 2018/19 promised up to £450 million for the police, however, Home Office funding for local forces will be cut by at least £100 million. West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson announced that he has increased the police council tax precept by £12, and said that ‘this amount will mean the equivalent of 190 officer jobs are protected’. The Home office have said that this increase will raise £9.5 million but West Midlands Police needs £22 million just to stand still and the increase would still be a real terms cut for West Midlands Police.”

“Police numbers are now at the lowest level in three decades. Since 2010 over 21,000 police officers have been lost, over 17,000 police staff and over 6,000 community support officers have been axed despite the Government’s promise to protect the frontline. In the West Midlands 2,000 police officers have been lost. I am opposed to the Government’s police cuts and voted against the Police Grant Report on 1 February 2018.”

“I have written to West Midlands PCC David Jamieson about the closure of Darlaston Police Station. It has only just been refurbished and its closure will mean there is no operating police station in the whole of Walsall South. I have asked Mr Jamieson why it has been closed and the future plans for it.”

“With police numbers at a historic low and recorded crime rising faster than ever, it is clear that the Government needs to do more to protect the public and support an ever increasing police workload.”