“We’ll invest to keep our communities safe” – Labour’s latest party political broadcast

Sienna Rodgers

Labour’s latest party political broadcast, airing tonight ahead of local elections on May 2nd, focusses on crime.

The documentary-style film features police officer Mike from Chippenham, mother Collet in London, pensioner Andy from Gloucester and ex-youth worker Sharon from Liverpool, all sharing their personal experiences of crime.

Their stories highlight the impact of Tory austerity, as previous broadcasts have done. This PPB particularly centres on spending cuts affecting youth services and policing, which has led to police station closures.

Unlike the last PPB, Jeremy Corbyn does not feature in this film – nor any Labour politician – and there is no voice-over.

Labour’s wider message during this campaign can be summed up as: “Austerity isn’t over”. The party wants to communicate that it is willing to reverse cuts, especially to schools and police, and invest in communities.

Below is the full text.

Andy: Well to be honest, I’m still a bit nervous of going out in the dark. I’ll be honest about that.

Girls: The statistics are so high and it’s actually quite scary, like when you go out, not even for yourself but for the people you know, and I can’t imagine how scary it must be for our parents.

Collet: James was very excited coming to the UK. But when you’re in Jamaica, you’re coming abroad, you’re thinking, ‘I’m going to a foreign country’.

Sharon: We held a Halloween party on Scargreen fields a few years ago, and a couple of the local young lads seen a yellow jacket walking across the fields and they were like, ‘we’re off, here’s the plod’. And we said, ‘it’s only Jackie, you know Jackie. Jackie’s been in the school with you since you were that big’. And they were like, ‘oh that’s sound then, we’ll stay’.

Andy: Well I was on my mobility scooter going up to the shop actually, and I couldn’t get between the lamppost and the curb edge because there was a guy stood there. So I said to him, quite naturally, ‘excuse me can I get by please?’

Mike: One of the police’s key roles is to reduce crime and just doing enforcement doesn’t get that. Police have to get into communities, they have to get into schools, they have to get into youth centres.

Collet: After moving here, I began to be aware of stabbings that were happening, and it seems so normalised. And I was worried for my sons.

Sharon: As a youth worker years ago, there was a lot more of you. So having enough youth workers to go around is really hard.

Andy: All of a sudden, without saying a word, he swung a punch at me, boom, about here. And continued, he hit me, in actual fact, about a dozen times. I just wondered what was happening.

Collet: The boy that James saved had an altercation with a boy, and the boy showed him a knife. The boy then went over to him and took it off him, and then he sent a message to his friend, and said this boy has taken my shank and this is going to be a wrap, which means they’re gonna go look for him, to kill him.

Sharon: A few years ago we had a really active working partnership the police, the councillors, the local housing associations and stuff like that. But over the last, I’d say the last three years, to me it’s like after a war. Everything’s been cut, everything’s gone.

Mike: You know that this was a hub for policing in this part of the county. I worked here on a major incident room, traffic officers, intelligence officers, CID officers, all worked out of this station. The Conservatives reduced the amount of money spent on policing, this led to police stations like this closing down.

Sharon: Everything’s going downhill very fast, and I mean on the incident with me, and believe me there is far worse that is happening than what happened to me.

Collet: They came looking for that boy, they attacked him, and that was when James saw what was happening, the community saw what was happening. James intervened, they ran, except the one that remained. James was then trying to get the knife from him, but he switched the hand and put the knife in the other hand, and stabbed James in the heart. Where is the safety mechanism in place for these young people? Where is a source for them to speak to someone, to prevent them from committing such acts?

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