The YMCA was endorsed by Yvette Cooper, the Labour MP who is also their Shadow Secretary of State for the Home Department when she was discussing the Antisocial Behaviour Action Plan which was being discussed on Monday 27th March. The text can be obtained from here and these are some of the words that Yvette mentioned. It is very significant what she stated about the YMCA which was “The Government abandoned the major drug intervention program that the last Labour Government had in place, slashed youth service budgets—the YMCA says by £1 billion—and have let charges for criminal damage halve.” The Minister who began the debate was Suella Braverman and she began with this words
With permission, Mr Speaker, I would like to make a statement about the antisocial behaviour action plan, which I published today with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.
I am proud of what Conservatives have achieved since 2010: overall crime, excluding fraud, is down by 50%; neighbourhood crime is down by 48%; and we are within days of securing the historic achievement of a record number of police officers nationally. That is all thanks to this party’s commitment to law and order.
But we must always strive harder to keep the British people safe. The worst crimes flourish when lower-level crime is tolerated. Let me be clear: there is no such thing as petty crime. Public First polling found that people cited antisocial behaviour as the main reason why their area was a worse place to live than 10 years before. The decent, hard-working, law-abiding majority are sick and tired of antisocial behaviour destroying their communities. Nobody should have to live in fear of their neighbours, endure disorder and drug taking in parks, see their streets disfigured by graffiti, fly tipping or litter, or feel unsafe walking alone at night, with gangs of youths hanging around, getting up to no good, intimidating us all and degrading the places that we love.
The next person to speak after the Suella Braverman was Yvette Cooper and she started with these words and it included the YMCA reference.
This plan is too weak, too little, too late. The Home Secretary says people are sick and tired of antisocial behaviour. Too right they are—because people have seen serious problems getting worse and nothing has been done. But who does she think has been in power for the last 13 years?
It is a Tory Government who have decimated neighbourhood policing. There are 10,000 fewer neighbourhood police and police community support officers on our streets today than there were seven years ago. Half the population rarely ever see the police on the beat, and that proportion has doubled since 2010. This is a Conservative Government who weakened antisocial behaviour powers 10 years ago, brought in new powers that were so useless they were barely even used, including the community trigger and getting rid of powers of arrest, even though they were warned not to.
The Government abandoned the major drug intervention program that the last Labour Government had in place, slashed youth service budgets—the YMCA says by £1 billion—and have let charges for criminal damage halve. Community penalties have halved and there is a backlog of millions of hours of community payback schemes not completed because the Government cannot even run the existing system properly. Far from punishing perpetrators of antisocial behaviour, the Government are letting more and more of them off.