Over the past few months we have a seen a spate of crime across Melton, a worrying trend which I understand is of concern to local residents. It is something a good number of constituents have written to me about. Some have themselves been the victims of crime, while others have perceived a noticeable increase in theft, mindless vandalism and other anti-social behaviour in the area. Either way, it is something we must get a grip on.
Having spoken to Melton Police, I am pleased to hear that suspects have been apprehended for a number of these crimes, some of which are interrelated. Working across government, in conjunction with the police and the courts, it is important we now identify this pattern, understand why it is happening, and bring the perpetrators to justice. We need the courts to be robust by backing up good policing with firm sentencing.
In the immediate term, that means stamping out crime and being tough on those who carry it out. Criminals - even those who commit small, petty crimes - must face the consequences of their actions, and adequate penalties and sentences need to be in place to punish wrongdoing. In the longer term, we need to better understand what drives people to crime and address the underlying root causes through things like early intervention schemes.
I will be working closely with Melton Borough Council and Leicestershire County Council over the coming weeks to get to the bottom of this problem, and from my conversations with the Leader of Melton Borough Council, Cllr Joe Orson, I understand that all options are being actively considered. Ensuring our towns and villages remain safe and that residents continue to have confidence in the police and the justice system will be a priority.
As always, I would be glad to hear the views of constituents on this issue, which I will certainly feed in to my ongoing work. It is essential that we all work together to tackle the problem.