“Conservative Councillor Calls for “Curfew” on Law-abiding Citizens."
On Monday 31st October, the Conservative Administration in Southend Borough Council responded to a serious outbreak of crime in York Road; instead of attempting to offset the devastating impact of massive cuts to Essex Police, Councillor Mark Flewitt, portfolio-holder for public protection, suggested introducing a “curfew” in an effort to “reclaim the streets”.
The Labour Group believe it is shocking that a Southend-on-Sea Executive councillor would advocate such a ridiculous and extreme policy, curtailing the freedom of law-abiding people.
Councillor Ian Gilbert, leader of the Labour Group says: "To propose such a daft idea, which to my knowledge has no basis in law, suggests that the Conservatives are losing their grip on reality, finding themselves in a situation with which they cannot cope.”
Nonetheless, this does not remove the serious issue of crime in Southend-on-Sea, particularly violent crime. Essex Police have been forced to find £63 million worth of savings by 2020. Due to these central government cuts, the number of police officers operating in Essex fell by 600 between 2010 and 2015. You cannot expect to make such drastic cuts to our public services without impact, and criminal activity, especially violent crime, has increased.
With both a Conservative national and local government, the Conservative Party must accept responsibility for what Cllr Flewitt describes as “lawlessness” in our neighbourhoods. Between 1997 and 2010, the Labour Party were able to sustainably and safely reduce our police budget whilst still allowing for our crime rates to fall.