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Gwent Police Federation

Labour leader says policing ‘must change’

27 March 2023

Gwent Police Federation chair Matthew Candy said he backed any proposals which would help tackle violence against women and girls and clamp down on antisocial behaviour.

Matthew’s comments came after Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer gave a speech on his party’s plans for police reform.

Sir Keir said policing “must change” but he warned: “It’s going to be a long, hard road.”

He vowed to “reverse the collapse in the proportion of crime solved”and halve levels of violence against women and girls within a decade if he wins power at the next general election.

In a speech in Stoke-on-Trent, he said: “Policing must start to serve women and minorities, no more excuses.

“Modernising the police is also the first step we need to take on halving violence amongst women and girls.”

The Labour leader said a Labour government would place specialist domestic abuse workers responding to 999 calls in every police control room, and set up a specialist rape unit “in every police force”.

He also pledged to halve serious violent crime and raise confidence in the police and criminal justice system after Baroness Casey’s report on the Metropolitan Police.

Sir Keir said the importance of “visible neighbourhood police” was “crystal clear” and repeated a promise to recruit 13,000 extra officers and “get more police on the beat”.

He said Labour would also prioritise “fighting the virus that is anti-social behaviour: fly-tipping, off-road biking in rural areas, drugs”.

Responding to Sir Keir’s speech, Matthew said: “More than a decade of cuts across policing in England and Wales have had serious consequences and we have to accept there has been a breakdown in public confidence.

“We have to acknowledge that and try to start restoring that lost trust and we believe getting more officers into the communities they serve would be a good start.

“We would obviously welcome any measures that put us in a better position to tackle serious issues such as violence against women and girls and the antisocial behaviour which has become a scourge on society.”