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Bethnal Green & Bow MP Rushanara Ali is backing John Biggs for Tower Hamlets' Mayor

PUBLISHED: 12:24 29 January 2014 | UPDATED: 12:25 29 January 2014

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Crime and anti-­social behaviour are among the most serious ­issues facing Tower Hamlets.

Since the current Mayor came to power in 2010, crime in Tower Hamlets has gone up even though in neighbouring boroughs, such as Labour-controlled Newham, crime is down by eight per cent.

Even that sad fact hardly conveys what’s really worrying about the trend towards greater crime and anti-social behaviour in Tower Hamlets. Within that rise, knife crime is up 49pc and robberies are up 50pc.

That is simply unacceptable, although it’s pretty clear why we’re facing these shocking figures. Since 2010, 245 police officers and police community support offices (PCSOs) in Tower Hamlets have been lost. Local neighbourhood policing teams have been cut from six officers, per area, to only two.

The problem is clear. At a time of national cuts, Lutfur Rahman, the mayor of Tower Hamlets has no idea how to deal with rising crime and anti-social behaviour. He even voted against Labour’s proposal to introduce 17 ­additional police officers in 2011. Added to how police numbers have fallen under Boris Johnson, it is clear how neighbourhood policing in Tower Hamlets has been destroyed. Crime has risen in our borough while in Labour boroughs – Newham, Barking and Hackney – it has fallen. I believe the answer is a new mayor. Tower Hamlets needs a Labour mayor, one who will repair and maintain the East End’s proud tradition of strong communities.

John Biggs, AM, is Labour’s candidate for mayor, and I know he would take strong but fair action to reverse the rise in crime we’ve seen under the current mayor.

John will implement a Local Safety Action Plan in every neighbourhood, create Mayor-led partnerships with police and other agencies, crack down on night time anti-social behaviour and work together with local communities to provide better youth services. We all have a right to feel safe in our local areas. It’s time a Labour mayor was given a chance to reverse this worrying trend towards rising crime and anti-social behaviour in Tower Hamlets.

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