Hold the front page! Crime statistics are down

PUBLISHED: 18:55 30 April 2009 | UPDATED: 14:19 05 October 2010

Dear Ed, HOLD the front page! Tower Hamlets council's freesheet did just that last week for the news' about 20 new police officers walking the beat "this year and next" thanks to Town Hall funding. The news' covered the whole front page, with crime statistics inside down by 17 per cent

Dear Ed,

HOLD the front page! Tower Hamlets council’s East End Life’ freesheet did just that last week for the news’ about 20 more police officers who would be walking the beat “this year and next” thanks to £600,000Town Hall funding. The news’ covered the whole of the front page, with statistics for the past year inside showing crime down 17 per cent.

Councillors are all too aware that behind every statistic there is a victim who has suffered by somebody’s actions—like the vicious attack last month on a councillor in Vallance Road, Bethnal Green, for which he was lucky to survive.

Traditionally, Labour argued that crime resulted from poverty and deprivation. That all changed when Tony Blair became Labour’s spokesman on crime in the early 1990s. The James Bulger case (toddler abducted and murdered in Liverpool) gave Blair the chance to signal that New’ Labour would put the emphasis on personal responsibility.

It is not a new sense of direction that Tower Hamlets is seeking, by paying for more cops on the beat, but a new mandate for next year’s local elections. The funding is for “this year and next,” remember.

The extra officers will allow Labour, come election time next year, to use policing as a political football.

By coincidence, the front page of today’s week’s East London Advertiser (April 30) was also about crime—a schoolgirl of 13 kicked unconscious on a bus by several others.

Figures from the national police computer show fewer than one-in-five convictions for crimes involving knives led to jail. Adults caught with a knife were fined sometimes as little as £20, some children a mere £5.

Labour has failed to deter yobs using knifes. That is something you will not read on the front page of East End Life’.

Terry McGrenera

Tower Hamlets Green Party

Devans Road, Bromley-by-Bow

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