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MORE POLICE NEEDED TO TACKLE FEAR OF CRIME IN THE EAST END, SAY LIB DEMS

April 5, 2009 5:12 PM

Newcastle East campaigner Greg Stone has called on Northumbria Police Authority to ensure that more officers are allocated to the Clifford Street police station - the home of Newcastle East Area Command.

The call follows reports that Newcastle is set to gain another 70 police officers in coming years, after a long Lib Dem campaign for more police on the streets.

Crime in Newcastle is lower than in most other major cities, although fear of crime remains a concern in some areas.

In particular, concerns have been recently raised with Greg Stone about community safety and fear of knife crime on parts of the Byker estate, leading to requests from the community to step up patrols.

Councillor Greg Stone, Lib Dem Parliamentary spokesman for Newcastle East, said: "It is my view that the quality of policing in the East End is excellent but it is always welcome to enhance the quantity of police available in the area.

"Obviously operational police matters are best left in the hands of police commanders, not politicians, but I hope that some of this welcome additional resource in the fight against crime can be deployed in Newcastle East Area Command.

"Continued targeting of known criminals who target house burglaries and car crime should remain a priority.

"I am particularly aware that some people do not feel safe in some parts of the area at night, and I have recently discussed this problem and been out on patrol with local police superintendents.

"Having more high-visibility patrols in these locations would help to reassure residents and deter crime and disorder, as shown by the recent Operation Meerkat in the Byker Wall area and Operation Lark on Shields Road.

"More feet on the beat is definitely good news, but I intend to continue to campaign for more police in Newcastle East as part of an effective campaign against crime.

"By contrast, Labour would rather squander billions of pounds on an expensive and ineffective national ID card system."