SHADOW HOME SECRETARY Diane Abbott has backed Labour’s plans to increase frontline staff to make communities safer while also defending democratic rights and civil liberties.
Diane Abbott has represented the north of Hackney in the House of Commons since 1987 – becoming the first black woman to be elected as an MP on that occasion. She is no stranger to the complex issues which make life challenging for inner city residents.
Diane Abbott said: “One of the great myths of British politics is that the Tories are the party of law and order. The reality is very different. Serious crime is up since the Tories came to office in 2010, and they have cut police numbers by over 20,000 in that time. Theresa May broke her pledge to protect the police budgets.
“Labour will protect our communities. We will focus on rebuilding community policing, and the ties between communities and the forces that serve them for good reason. It works. Unlike many other countries where the police have long been a quasi-military force standing outside the community, we have a history of policing by consent. We need to rebuild the trust between communities and the police which has been eroded by a combination of police cuts and rising crime.
“Part of rebuilding trust will a review of the Prevent strategy and the Channel programme. Nobody disputes the need to engage communities in the fight against violent extremism but we must be mindful of the warning issued by David Anderson QC, the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, who said: ‘There is a strong feeling in Muslim communities that I visit that Prevent is, if not a spying programme, then is at least a programme that is targeted on them.’”
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Labour reveals plans for safer streets