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Austerity is to blame for rising anti-social behaviour, Hull MP Emma Hardy says

Hull West and Hessle MP Emma Hardy will blame Government cuts for rising anti-social behaviour in her constituency.
Hull West and Hessle MP Emma Hardy will blame Government cuts for rising anti-social behaviour in her constituency.
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An MP will today blame a “perfect storm” of cuts to the police, education and social care for rising anti-social behaviour in the Humber region.

Hull West and Hessle MP Emma Hardy will blame a 31 per cent cut in the budget of Humberside Police since 2010, as well as exclusions and “off-rolling” by schools under funding pressure, and reduced provision of social care and youth services for rising anti-social behaviour.

In a Westminster Hall debate, Ms Hardy will warn that the situation will not get better quickly despite Theresa May’s pledge last week to end austerity, which the Labour MP said she met with “a mixture of disbelief, almost amusement, and also slight insult”.

Painting a stark picture of the situation in her constituency, Ms Hardy will say the loss of 392 officers and 54 community support officers has already left Humberside Police struggling to carry out neighbourhood “on the beat” policing, with frontline staff forced to prioritise 999 calls.

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Humberside Police also now has to find another £14-17m in savings over the next three years, meaning it is “ridiculous to expect them to offer the same high quality service”, she said.

She will also demand more funding for schools to handle expensive work of dealing with difficult pupils, instead of being forced to exclude or off-roll them.

Cuts to youth services and social care early intervention budgets must also be reversed, while delays in accessing in children and adolescent mental health services must be addressed, Ms Hardy will say.

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Ahead of the debate, she told The Yorkshire Post: “If you’re pulling away all the different safety nets and services that supported our young people then don’t be surprised when there’s an increase in crime. What did they expect was going to happen?

“You take away all the support, you take away all the early intervention, you take away all those safety nets and then you look surprised at increased knife crime in London, which luckily we don’t have here in Hull, but we’ve got an increased problem of anti-social behaviour.

“And a police service that’s stretched to capacity unable to investigate some crimes, let alone deal with the problems of anti-social behaviour - they simply don’t have the staff.

“Only by putting all those things back can we see a change, and it wouldn’t be an instant fix either.”

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