Andrew Neil and David Garmston with the latest political news, interviews and debate including Home Secretary Theresa May on the plans for new Police and Crime Commissioners.
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In the West: We're keeping an eye on the criminals, too, but will the
new Police Commissioners make offenders like this think twice?
Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2284 seconds
I'll be asking the Minister for Thank you, Andrew. You join us live
from Bristol on this Sunday morning. Coming up in the next 20 minutes:
Political control over the police - what the new Commissioners will
mean to us here in the West. We've already got cameras everywhere, and
crime is falling. Will an elected Commissioner make things better or
could crime actually rise if they make a mess of the job? Joining us
in our little police cell this week is the Lib Dem from Taunton, Jeremy
Browne. He's the Minister in charge of crime prevention. And the
Conservative from Kingswood, Chris Skidmore. Given that crime is
falling, what is the problem? should one on the fact that crime
is falling. Crime is at its lowest level since records began. It is
great to have good news in the media. But what this is about is
trying to improve the accountability of police. At the
moment, we have police authorities. They are meant to hold to account
and said budgets and priorities of the local police. We want that
accountability to be more high profile. The most important thing
is that crime is falling, so why change it? Because of the desperate
economic circumstances, we are having to make reductions in police
budgets. The received wisdom is that crime would rise. Because we
are spending money more efficiently, it we would see police deployed
with low budgets. What we have to do is make sure we continue to get
more of those deficiencies -- deficiencies. Just take Avon and
Somerset. The biggest concentration of population is in Bristol,
therefore, an elected Commissioner would need to boat from Bristow
millions. Whoever is elected would be taking a police and crime
Commissioner oath. -- would need of votes from Bristol people. The big
cities will have the loudest voice. At the moment, we have a problem
because big cities are less neglected and smaller cities. The
elected Police Commissioners targeted those hot spots with crime
maps. You would find that crime is reduced. If you focus on the small
areas, crime is brought down. of the main jobs of the new Police
and Crime Commissioners will be providing a clear link between
local people and the police in their area. They'll be expected to
listen to the concerns of the public and act on them. They'll
also have a pot of cash to give to local groups working to fight crime.
Caught on camera - crime levels may be going down, but there are still
far too many victims. Those committing crimes are desperate for
money to feed their drug addiction. Clare was one of them. We have
changed her name to protect her identity. For 16 years, I had a
heroin habit and had on and off binges on crack cocaine. My it
offences for all drug-related, the most severe one was an armed
robbery -- robbery. She beat her habit with the help from the
Bristol's a drugs project. I was an extremely dark places. I was also
on the verge of doing a long prison sentence. If I had not had
treatment, I would still be out there, if not dead. I know that
without a shadow over doubt. Those running the programme are worried
funding could be cut. People would have few opportunities to get the
support they need to move on from maybe 10, 15, 20 years history of a
problematic drug abuse, alcohol use and crime. They need to make the
changes in their lives that people here are doing day-in, day out.
may not care about drug addicts, but the money be used is keeping
them out of places like these and a streets safer. Figures show that
for every �1 spent on drug treatment services in Bristol,
almost �5 is being saved on tackling crime. It is not just
drugs agencies that benefit. Sex workers and victims of hate crime
are two of the groups supported. The charity uses some of their
money to pay for CCTV. They put cameras outside one family's home,
catching this man/and their car tyres. But from April next year,
many of those who work to keep Bristol safe, it may have to fight
to keep their funding. They find themselves competing in a much
bigger market, their specialist skills be ignored or people are not
aware of how effective they are. When you stock -- stop ring-fencing
money, you will now have to negotiate with all 43 police and
crime Commissioners for a share of the budget. We are worried about
small charities because it is often those charities that really can
reduce crime effectively. So, while the elections may not have captured
the imagination of the public, community safety groups will be
keeping a watchful eye on who gets the job.
Batook Pandya is from the organisation Support Against
Racists Incidents. They are one of the groups that get funding to help
prevent crime. Do you think your funding may be at risk? I hope not,
David. It is a small pot of money. It started with the Home Office
project, going back 21 years ago. I am hoping it doesn't. A new police
and crime Commissioner could say to you, sorry, I need to spend his
money somewhere else. Off course, and in the present climate, big has
been going down and down. It is the money for hate crimes, and we
should have a zero-tolerance towards hate crime, or whether from
a race, Equality, disability, it we need to support those people.
will not be a candidate who does not agree with that, though. Yes,
but firm -- I won them to walk the walk cannot talk the talk. If a new
Commissioner said, sorry, I want to spend the money somewhere else, is
there any buyer of opposing that? - - anyway. There is small scope now
for supposing that. People can go and ask the candidates, they can
say these are my priorities. And Sue have candidates respond. There
is no reason why the budget could not go up as well as down. That is
the whole point of localism. seemed reassured you? Taking the
point is correct, but what happens if the third sector, which does go
a lot of work within the community,... To do that we need
that support and a long-term solution rather than chasing money
every six months. Christopher wants the mumming -- funding to help
victims. On the other hand, you are cutting police officers. A police
and crime Commissioner, that will be their priority. There is an
issue with cuts. We have cut one million police hours out of
backroom staff and put them on the front line. Frontline numbers are
falling as well. Crime is falling. You cannot argue against efficiency
it when it works. It is not government or police money, it is
taxpayers' money. Organisations like yourself, if you can prove
that actually do reduce crime, you have nothing to fear.
difficulty is it is a small budget, and whether the sector gets left
behind in a wider funding picture, that is what my fear is. You need
to get out there and publicise your work.
There was some welcome news on the jobs front this week - there's been
a slight fall in the numbers of people looking for work in the West.
Unemployment in our region fell by nearly 2%, according to official
figures. But young people are still finding it very hard to get work,
and the number out of work for more than a year has never been higher.
It was training day at this fundraising agency in Bristol today.
They represent dozens of local and national charities, and these new
recruits must swat up on all of them. What is the oldest age a
supporter can be? For 19-year-old Nathan, it's his first day at work
after three years unemployed. feels good, getting up and
everything. It makes me film that from this, I can go on to do even
more. Nathan's not alone. Nearly 1,000 people have found work in the
West this month. It's not a huge fall, but unemployment is coming
down. The call centre has so many young people, it feels like a
student union, but these, it seems, are the lucky ones. How many young
people were out of work before the recession for more than a year? In
Bristol, at 34 stop by this morning, this number had risen to 675.
this that Pinter here. The younger profile brings a lot of energy and
enthusiasm. -- it is a sad thing to hear. So, why are so many young
people finding it such a battle? The youngsters, who do not have any
skills and experience, are the people getting pushed out. Lucy
Bristow has been in recruitment for 20 years, and right now, she says,
the job market is as tough as ever. The employee years see it as pretty
much a bargain. They can get the people they want with the skills
they need, and they do not have to pay for training. Nathan got this
job because a friend told him about it and because he was enthusiastic.
In a tough market, you need to play every card you've got. The young
are paying the price for this financial crunch under your
government. I would not suggest that this has been a short-term
thing. Structurally, youth unemployment has been sky high
since 1997. We had nearly one million young people unemployed
pre-crash. It has gone up progressively. In the good times,
the previous government did nothing to tackle the structural issue.
are talking about young kids. They are talking about the here and now.
You are cutting, and that has created austerity. The official
term is not in education work for training. The problem is, we never
got to grips with this issue. During the good times, we should
have focused on youth unemployment. Political parties cannot blame each
other. Can you offer them any headway? It is unfair to blame the
Government for young people, or when they had 13 years of being
educated under the previous government. Youth unemployment is a
serious problem. But the Government have created... Well, over one
million jobs had been created in the private sector since this
Government came to office. We have to create the right environment for
employers to create those opportunities. I am very pleased
unemployment is going down. It is better than it is in countries like
Spain, where half of young people unemployed. We need to do more here.
The austerity programme you are both equally committed to is making
it very hard for these young people to find jobs. We are borrowing �1
billion every three days. Who will pay that money back? Today's young
people. Borrowing more and more money we do not have, that is
unfair on young people. This generation, people of my age, have
a duty to get a grip on public spending for the benefit of young
people. In the meantime, it is just tough? We brought him measures like
corporation tax to get investment in this country. How long before
the long-term young unemployed can realistically see an improvement?
We could have been like Greece or Spain, if we increased borrowing.
Government money is taxpayers' money. We cannot just plug that gap
with borrowing. The role of government is to get private
investment and businesses to set up. It's time to take a look back at
the political highlights of the week in 60 seconds.
A family split can often lead to grandparents being cut out of the
lives of their grandchildren. Now, one Bristol grandmother is asking
politicians to change the law to guarantee them some access rights.
To see your family falling apart is absolutely heartbreaking.
Plans to remove the heart of Gloucester from its Parliamentary
constituency and put it in the Forest of Dean have been reversed.
There were protests a year ago against the idea, which was part of
reforms to even out the number of voters in each seat.
Campaigners opposed to the imminent cull of badgers have managed to get
the issue debated in Parliament. A petition against the cull has been
signed by more than 100,000 people after being started by Queen
guitarist Brian May. On your bike... You must be joking!
Many Bristolians still see it as too dangerous to ride around the
city. This week, a group of experts from the Netherlands came here to
tell the council how it should be done.
Badger culling - more and more controversial by the day. Huge
pressure on the Government to change its mind. I think the issue
here is we have got to look at what is happening with the farming. We
have to have a small cull. All we do not focus on is the number of
cows being shot because they get TB in the first place. We need to
understand the concerns of the countryside. This is something that
needs to be done. You are from rural Somerset. I do. I have met a
lot of farmers devastated by the impact of a TB on their herds, and
they take it extremely seriously. They see it as a livelihood issue.
No one wants to cull any wild animals by choice, but I do not
think we should rule out the option of getting to grips with an eternal
problem. Sign says you can kill thousands and thousands of badgers,
but the reduction in TB is only 10%. Its is a limited trial. If it is
ineffective, it will not be extended. We do need to get to
grips with the problem. There is in real told him the human cost up to
farmers. -- Gabriel told in -- it a real tour in the human cost. Your
critics say you're up in the pockets of the farmers. You have
got to remember that the dairy industry is an extremely important
part of our economy. That's it from me, but don't go
away because Andrew has more for you. Thank you to our guests,
Jeremy and Chris. If you want to know more about the candidates
Andrew Neil and David Garmston with the latest political news, interviews and debate including Home Secretary Theresa May on the Government's plans for new Police and Crime Commissioners in England and Wales.