THE LABOUR candidate for Staffordshire Police and Crime Commissioner launched her campaign alongside Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper.
Stoke on Trent City Councillor Joy Garner is vying for the new role opposite Conservative candidate, Staffordshire County Councillor Matthew Ellis.
Councillor Garner and Ms Cooper met with members and staff of North Staffordshire YMCA to talk about anti-social behaviour and the impacts of Government cuts to police across the country.
Councillor Garner reiterated her commitment to tackling anti-social behaviour if elected, promising to bring together groups from across the area to form a task force attacking the root causes.
“If elected I will keep police on the beat, not hand over patrolling our streets to private companies, back a strong and swift response to antisocial behaviour and be tough on crime, and tough on the causes of crime,” she said. “The Tory-led Government is cutting 395 police officers here in Staffordshire. I am standing to protect our communities and fight crime.”
Ms Cooper said the Government was cutting thousands of frontline police and taking risks with community safety in Staffordshire as a result of those cuts.
"The Tories are cutting 15,000 police officers across the country, reducing police powers to deal with criminals including on DNA, CCTV and ASBOs, and undermining police morale,” she said. “It’s not surprising then that arrests are down and the number of serious crimes reaching court is falling.
Ms Cooper said: "The Tories aren't supporting the police or communities in tackling crime but Joy will.
“The police can make efficiency savings, but the sheer scale of cuts means nearly 400 officers will go in Staffordshire.”
She said the upcoming elections were a chance for everyone to send the message to the Government to think again and said Councillor Garner would stand up against the cuts, protecting neighbourhood policing, tackling anti-social behaviour and ensuring everyone worked together in partnership to keep the streets safe.