Despite the hard work of our local police force, I am concerned about the rising level of anti-social behaviour in Nelson ward and worried that incidents are on the increase. I have spoken to some of the members of Buckland Community Centre and they told me they have been facing young youths on Sundays coming to intimidate and harass lone staff there. They have reported these incidents to the local Police Community Support Officers, but because of government cuts they have fewer of them to cover such a large area. Small business owners in Stamshaw have told me of similar problems and how they are struggling over the lack of customer facilities with no proper improvements to the footpaths, which makes it difficult for people to get to them. Drug use is also becoming a problem and may well be contributing to such incidents.

Like many people who live and work in the city, I was shocked when I discovered that 1000 police officers have been cut from our local Hampshire force and that the number of bobbies on the beat is at its lowest level across the country for 30 years.

It’s clear we need more police officers, not fewer, patrolling the neighbourhood like they always used to, looking out for our communities and getting to know the people in them. They can pick up what’s going on and often help to prevent bad situations getting worse, or even happening at all. That’s why Labour is committed to putting 10,000 more of them back on the beat. With our own in Nelson, we’d see a reduction in these kind of incidents and residents would feel reassured and above all, safer.