By David Hanson MP / Latest News / / 0 Comments
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The tragic and mindless killings by a fascist far-right terrorist in New Zealand last week has brought much sorrow. The Commons held an Urgent Question to ensure that our government is doing all it can to support our long standing ally New Zealand.

I used this opportunity to raise my hopes that the UK’s current chairing of the Commonwealth Heads of Government will be used to work with all members to ensure we put pressure on companies such as Facebook and Google to take down any terrorist propaganda or heinous videos.

I was pleased that the Minister took my question to heart and will be investigating how he can achieve this goal.

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I am seeking urgent clarification on funding for Welsh Police Forces following the Spring Statement.

The Chancellor, who delivered the Spring Statement today (13 March 2019), stated that:

“I can announce that The Prime Minister and I have decided, exceptionally, to make available immediately to the police forces in England an additional £100m over the course of the next year, ring-fenced pay for additional overtime targeted specifically on knife crime.”

I asked the Chancellor if this funding only applied to England as the Home Office is responsible for police funding in England and Wales and the lack of investment is unfair and unprecedented. Read more “Spring Statement: Police Funding”

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The announcement by the Secretary of State for Justice to undertake an evidence-based review of the benefit of custodial sentences of less than 6 months is to be welcomed.

The evidence points to fact that sending people to prison for a short-term custodial sentence acts as a college of crime. People who enter prison for minor offences may develop substance abuse problems, exacerbate mental health issues and connect them with hardened criminals.

I want to see a sensible sentencing policy put in place. One that takes into account the individual, their record on repeat offending and the risks they pose to communities. Prison will only work if it is used against people correctly. It fails when it trains a new generation of criminals who put our safety at risk.

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In my Topical Question to the Secretary of State for Justice I asked if he believes that the Local Government Association were right to point out that the slashing of youth justice funding is having a detrimental impact upon our community safety.

Youth justice grants, which fund council youth offending teams, have tumbled from £145m in 2010-11 to £71.5m in 2018-19, according to the Local Government Association.

Councils have already set their budgets for 2019-20 but are still awaiting their allocations for youth justice grants, making it “extremely difficult” to plan services aimed at preventing gangs and violent crime, the LGA said.

The group, which represents 370 councils in England and Wales, called for funding to at least be maintained at last year’s levels.

Instead of getting a proper answer I merely received platitudes. This is not good enough, especially with violent crime rising so quickly across England and Wales.