Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

We All Have to Work Together to Beat Crime

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

We All Have to Work Together to Beat Crime

Article excerpt

I HAVE known for a long time that whilst our police are the frontline in fighting crime, it is only by building strong communities and strong partnerships that we'll see crime falling.

All of this is made more difficult when set against government's 20 per cent cuts in police funding and cuts to our councils. But that said, both the police and others are working hard to deliver more for less - it's tough but people are trying.

But let me give a couple of examples of where we need the partnership approach.

Child sexual exploitation: Protecting vulnerable young people is a priority.

Recent high profile cases shocked us all and they have brought child protection issues under the media spotlight. And we know these aren't isolated cases.

The police can't act alone and that's why I've asked all ten council leaders in Greater Manchester to help me bring together their council's top child protection people with the police to share best practice and work together to prevent abuse in the future.

Decent-minded people everywhere will support every effort to ensure Greater Manchester's young people get the best possible protection.

Alcohol and drugs: Drug abuse is a major driver of crime. The worst drugs blight users' lives, cause misery for others and for the wider community.

Policies on drug control, in particular, always arouse controversy.

Last week, MPs on the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee published their report calling for more to be done to tackle the UK's drug problem.

This is an important document. We are still not 'winning the war on drugs' and politicians have to be brave as we look for answers that really can make a difference. 'If we are about strengthening communities getting to causes of not added but For once let me agree with deputy prime minister Nick Clegg. We've got to look at evidence- based ways of reducing the damage drugs cause to individuals and communities.

If things work better in Portugal where drug use is treated primarily as a health, not criminal, issue, let's see if it could work here. …

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