Mark Formosa Reports

Somerset County Gazette: Mark Formosa Mark Formosa

I was delighted to see that Taunton’s successful Energize scheme has become one of the first projects awarded funding as a result of the police being able to seize cash from criminals.

Energize is a major factor in reducing anti-social behaviour among young people in the Deane.

Youngsters have been offered diversionary activities such as nightclub evenings, wall climbing, DJ workshops, and paintballing.

The Energize grant came from the Community Cashback scheme which the Government launched only in May.

It means that money made from crime can be taken away from criminals and put to good use in local communities.

The Government is making £4 million of it available this year for community initiatives like Energize.

It sounds an awful lot of money, but in fact is only a tiny part of the £250 million police expect to seize from villains this year.

I welcome any well thought out initiatives to ensure crime does not pay.

However, I still maintain the best deterrent of all is making sure we have enough police officers out there on the streets catching criminals.

If the odds of being caught are high and the punishments are harsh, then people will think twice before committing the crime.

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At present, not enough crimes are solved and the police work on the basis of solving roughly only about a third of all crimes, which is quite shocking.

We have read in the pages of the Gazette in recent weeks how Avon and Somerset had the highest increase in knife crime of any police force in the country.

At the same time, we are paying more council tax to the police than we are to the Deane council.

Yet, too many of the police officers we pay for are being sent to patrol Bristol rather than communities like Taunton, Wellington, Wiveliscombe, and elsewhere.

I want those extra police put on the beat here in Taunton Deane to make us all safer.

To find out more about the Conservative approach to policing, email me at mark@markformosa.com or visit www.markformosa.com

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