Labour leader Keir Starmer slams crime levels in Bedfordshire during visit
Keir Starmer slammed crime levels in Bedfordshire during a visit to the county town last week.
The Labour Party leader visited Bedford on Friday in a show of support to his party's candidate, Dr David Michael, in next month's Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) election.
During his visit, Sir Keir met with local shopkeepers affected by crime, alongside Dr Michael and Labour's shadow policing minister, Sarah Jones.
The Labour leader said: “The Conservatives are letting down people and businesses in Bedfordshire by failing to get a grip on rising crime.
“This May’s election is a choice between a Conservative party that has allowed violence to skyrocket on its watch or a brilliant Labour candidate, Dr David Michael, who is serious about tackling and preventing crime and putting victims at the heart of the criminal justice system.
"David has over 30 years’ experience of protecting the public and keeping our streets safe.
“A vote for a Labour Police and Crime Commissioner is a vote to keep you, your family and your community safe.”
Labour alleges that since 2016, violent crime in Bedfordshire has risen by 67 percent - with almost 7,000 more violent offences committed in 2020 than in 2016 - citing Office for National Statistics (ONS) data.
Outgoing Conservative PCC for Bedfordshire, Kathryn Holloway, took to Twitter to criticise her political opponent's claims.
Mrs Holloway tweeted: "I don’t generally focus on politically inspired mischief about myself and Bedfordshire Police.
"But for the record, @Keir_Starmer after last Friday’s claims - serious violence is down, knife crime has plateaued and rape prosecutions are up during my term."
"I’ve never played politics with policing," she added.