Worries over burglaries in Harrogate district raised by Lib Dem as police funding issue remains in spotlight
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Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Harrogate & Knaresborough, Tom Gordon again highlighted the situation in North Yorkshire, expressing alarm at new Home Office statistics which show that 1,595 burglaries went unsolved in the county in the year ending June 2023.
“Everyone deserves to feel safe in their homes and confident that if they are burgled, the criminal will swiftly face justice,” said Mr Gordon.
"It’s hard for people in Harrogate and Knaresborough to feel that confidence, thanks to these shocking figures."
Harrogate & Knaresborough’s Lib Dems argue that years of ineffective resourcing nationally have left local forces overstretched and unable to focus on crimes like burglaries.
This includes taking more than 4,500 Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) off the streets since 2015, and assigning just 12% of officers to neighbourhood policing teams.
The Lib Dems are calling for a new “Burglary Response Guarantee,” under which all domestic burglaries would be attended by the police and properly investigated.
This would be accompanied by a return to proper community policing, where officers are visible, trusted and focused on tackling neighbourhood crime.
Echoing his national leadership on the problem, Tom Gordon said: "The Conservative Government are failing to even get the basics right on cutting crime and our communities are paying the price.
“People in Harrogate & Knaresborough are sick of being taken for granted and deserve better - which is why the Liberal Democrats will keep fighting to restore proper community policing and implement our Burglary Response Guarantee."
According to the National Audit Office, police funding fell by 18% in the years from 2010/11 to 2015/16 alone, taking inflation into account.
Before the Partygate scandal, previous Prime Minister Boris Johnson had pledged to put 20,000 new officers on the street by March 2023, at a cost of more than £1 billion.
Both the fire service and the police in North Yorkshire have been criticised by inspectors in recent official reports.