Wycombe Labour today asked again for an explanation about gangs in Wycombe as new figures show that gang- related crime has gone up in Wycombe and London gangs are said to operate in the Home Counties.
Councillor Khalil Ahmed, Labour’s Councillor for Disraeli, said,
“Last Christmas I asked the police if there was a gang culture in Wycombe after a series of serious incidents in Disraeli, including a shooting in Hithercroft Road. At the same time, Wycombe Labour pointed out that recorded crime was on the increase.
The police tried to reassure me saying the shooting was “targeted” and residents were not in danger. I said publicly that I was not reassured. Meanwhile the Tory Police and Crime Commissioner put out a leaflet for his re-election campaign congratulating himself on the decrease in crime.
Now it looks as though Wycombe Labour was right.
Days after the Tory Commissioner put out his leaflet, Thames Valley Police released the official stats for last year and - guess what – recorded crime in Wycombe had gone up, and particularly gang-related crime. Possession of a weapon – up by 33% in Wycombe. Trafficking of drugs – up by 34% in Wycombe. Violence against the person with injury – up 16% in Wycombe.
And now we are told that there are gangs operating out of London into the Home Counties including Wycombe. Papers provided to the Mayor’s office in February identified 83 of these gangs including four named gangs operating out of north London into Wycombe.
What we are seeing is the effect of Tory cuts. And it is not just cuts to the police. Our youth services – cut. Social services – cut. Probation services privatised and in chaos. Prisons in crisis. Mental health services, particularly for young people – cut. Drug and alcohol addiction services – cut. All of these services have a part to play in preventing and reducing gang crime. And all of them cut by the Tories.
Perhaps the public are starting to get worried about the way things are going. There was a 6% swing to Labour in the election for the post of Commissioner.
The Tory PCC doesn’t seem to have a clue about policing or crime but it is about time he told us what is happening on gang crime and what he is doing about it. "