Even More Police On UK Streets, Says Gordon Brown
Even More Police On UK Streets - Prime Minister
More people will see more police officers on their streets under new reforms announced today, the PM has said.
Mr Brown said that the new policing Green Paper would "clear the decks" and cut down on bureaucracy so officers could spend more time tackling crime.
He also repeated a warning that young people carrying knives would be prosecuted as new figures reportedly showed police recorded about 20,000 serious offences involving knives last year.
A new policing pledge in the Green Paper sets out a national standard on what people can expect from the police. This is underpinned in each area by a set of local priorities agreed by people in each neighbourhood.
Speaking at 10 Downing Street alongside Association of Chief Police Officers president Ken Jones, Mr Brown said visible policing on the streets had cut violent crime.
"We are clearing the decks, cutting the red tape, cutting back on bureaucracy, making it possible for policemen and women to spend far more time on the beat answering people's inquiries, in touch with local communities - a visible presence on the beat so that more and more people will see a policeman or woman there and able to help them."
Responding to annual crime figures revealing the true extent of knife crime across England and Wales, Mr Brown said he wanted to make carrying a blade as unacceptable as having a gun on the streets.
"More stop and search, more visible policing, more metal detectors trying to spot where knives exist, and stepping up our action with tougher sentences and a determination to say to people: if you are caught with a knife, you will be prosecuted, if you have a knife you will be punished, and we will do everything in our power to prevent people having knives."