We have reformed and strengthened the powers available to local areas to tackle antisocial behaviour, including vandalism, through the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. Six powers are available to the police, local councils and other agencies, including the civil injunction and public spaces protection orders, which set out how a public space can be used.
Over the Christmas period, the Outwood memorial hall in my constituency was vandalised, the community centre and war memorial were damaged, and the possessions stolen include a wheelchair used by the Outwood stroke club. This is a truly sickening crime that has caused great distress to our community. What plans does my hon. Friend have to increase the sentences for those found guilty of such offences?
I am sure that the whole House is sorry to hear about that appalling incident, and I fully understand the distress that it must have caused my hon. Friend’s constituents. Everyone has the right to feel safe in their local community. Robust legislation is in place to tackle such crimes, from the antisocial-behaviour powers in the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, to criminal damage offences—and, indeed, violence offences, if those are appropriate on the facts of the case.
Residents and businesses in Hoyland have recently been subjected to a distressing wave of serious crime, including vandalism, break-ins and theft. That reflects the fact that there are nearly 600 fewer South Yorkshire police officers on our streets as a result of this Government’s cuts. Can the Minister confirm that Barnsley will not get a penny from the Government in this year’s funding settlement to recruit more frontline officers? Will she think again?
I am sorry to hear about the experiences in the hon. Lady’s constituency and I hope that she will therefore be supporting the Government’s funding settlement, which is coming towards us and will help give up to £970 million more to policing, with the help of police and crime commissioners.