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Tue, 4 August 2020

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Criminals should fear ‘knock on the door’ from police, says Labour’s new shadow home secretary

Criminals should fear ‘knock on the door’ from police, says Labour’s new shadow home secretary

Nick Thomas-Symonds said: ‘You are more likely if you have less money to be the victim of a crime.’ (Image: Parliament.TV)

2 min read

Labour wants criminals to fear the “knock on the door from law enforcement”, the party’s new home affairs spokesperson has declared.

Shadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said he wanted Labour to be thought of as a party which keeps working class people “safe in their communities”.

And he accused the Government of inflicting “massive damage” to policing.

The comments come in a wide-ranging interview with the Mirror, in which Mr Thomas-Symonds also rejected claims that the police in the UK are “institutionally racist”.

Setting out his stall in one of Labour’s key Shadow Cabinet posts, the MP for Torfaen said: “In the working class communities I represent in South Wales there are people who have preyed on vulnerable people.

“We think of the sad rise in domestic abuse during the lockdown and there are perpetrators out there who are not fearing that knock on the door from law enforcement. The truth is they need to be.”

And he added: “We need lower violent crime and more police officers and that’s the case I want to make to the country over the next four years.”

In an echo of the ‘tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime’ mantra used by Tony Blair in the run-up to the 1997 election, the Labour frontbencher said: “You are more likely if you have less money to be the victim of a crime.

“It’s those people I want to speak for and act for as Home Secretary.

“Those people who see the crime on their street, that is what drives me to do all I can as Home Secretary so they feel safe in their communities.”

And he hit out at what he called the “massive damage the Tories have done to police numbers”, which he argued had led to a “rocketing of violent crime” in recent years.

But pressed on whether the police in the UK are institutionally racist, as has been argued by some campaigners in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests, the Shadow Home Secretary said: “We mustn’t lose sight of the work the vast majority of our police officers do and support them in it.”

Instead, the Labour frontbencher said he wanted controversial police stop-and-search powers, which have disproportionately targeted black people, to be intelligence-led.

And he said blanket Section 60 powers, allowing officers to search anyone within a designated area, should be used only sparingly.

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