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COMMENT: Cuts could have a tragic outcome
11:00am Friday 1st February 2013 in News
ANTHONY Stansfeld, the Commissioner for Thames Valley Police, finds himself in a difficult position financially, trying to minimise Government cuts to the Community Safety Fund schemes.
The fund covers programmes including drug intervention, community safety and knife and gang crime education.
Mr Stansfeld is proposing a two per cent rise in the police share of the council tax to safeguard funding for the coming financial year, but potential cuts after that.
Programmes like drug intervention might be seen as easily dispensable in times of shrinking budgets, but they provide a lot of good work that goes unseen.
Thames Valley Police identified more than 10 years ago the rise in Class A drug use and the disproportionate impact addicts have on figures for crimes like burglary.
Programmes to identify people in the early stages of addiction are a common sense attempt to break the vicious cycle.
Success in educating youngsters about knives and gang culture similarly doesn’t have a tangible result because you are preventing crime.
We have all seen, too many times in recent years, the tragic consequences of young men thinking arming themselves with a knife is cool.
Mr Stansfeld has been left in a difficult position by the Home Office, but we hope years of progress will not now be lost.