Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Press release I issued today:

Local campaigner backs increase in Specials

City Campaigner Antony Little has strongly back plans for the next Conservative Government to restore the number of Special Constables – which have dropped by 44 per cent under Labour – to at least 1997 levels, by paying them.

Antony, the Conservative parliamentary spokesman for Norwich South, has spent the summer months investigating ways of cutting crime and anti-social behaviour in the City. His recent "Norwich Survey 2004" showed that 81% of Norwich residents claim to have "never" seen a policeman on the beat in their area.

After a walkabout on Riverside with local Conservative Councillors and activists campaigning on the issue, Antony said:“Rather than gimmicks, Conservatives believe in paying the Specials. We will not only reward Special Constables for the valuable role they perform, but that may also help to boost their numbers to at least 20,000 over five years.

“We want to revitalise the Specials - not just by paying them but by allowing them to choose to be available for call out at short notice. At the moment too many regular police officers are diverted from their core duties to perform tasks Special Constables could do.

“Our proposals would bring the Special Constabulary in line with other reserve police forces across Europe and other reserve forces in the UK, such as the Territorial Army and Retained Firefighters.”

Antony has recently highlighted the rise in violent crime in Norwich, the fall in the clear up rate and the decline in the number of specials.

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