A BOLTON MP has written to the Home Secretary to demand extra resources for policing following concerns from residents about rising crime.

People living in areas across Bolton have been raising concerns about crime and some contacted Yasmin Qureshi MP to try and get action.

She has now written directly to the Home Secretary Amber Rudd to try and ‘reverse the crisis’ by putting officers back on the street.

It comes after a Homewatch group in the Beaumont Chase area wrote to her and she also became aware of concerns in Ladybridge, where it was suggested armed vigilantes could start roaming the streets.

In the letter, the MP for Bolton South East and Shadow Justice Minister, said: “I am writing to raise urgent concerns raised by constituents on the rising incidents of crime in Bolton against the backdrop of severe cuts to policing services.

“I am sure you will agree with me, that police officers perform an essential role in ensuring communities across the country are safe places to live. However, in recent years, the speed and scale of cuts to police forces is truly alarming. You will know that, since 2010, your Government has axed 20,000 police officers, over 30,000 police staff and 6,000 community support officers, despite repeated promises to protect front-line services.

“The recent figures on rising crime levels are a damning indictment of the impact these cuts have had. Last year, the country saw the highest annual crime jump in over a decade of 13 per cent.

“Although alarming, this cannot be a surprise. It is undeniable that your government’s cuts in police services have played a key role in these appalling statistics.

“In Greater Manchester, there were 18,907 more crimes in 2017 than 2016. This is in the context of having lost 2,000 officers since the start of austerity. Shockingly, your Government’s plans have failed to deal with this increasingly urgent issue of over-stretched police services, a failure citizens would no doubt be alarmed to hear, many of whom are already experiencing the negative consequences of Government police policy.”

The KnightsWatch Community Home Watch, in Beaumont Chase, was established in August last year because of increasing crime levels and anti-social behaviour.

In a letter to Ms Qureshi, they said residents feel unsafe in their homes during the day and asked for extra police patrols to try and make the area safer.

In her letter to Ms Rudd, Ms Qureshi continued: “I have recently been contacted by a residents group in my constituency who have serious concerns on rising incidents of crime in the area of Beaumont Chase. Frequent break-ins, burglaries and general crime have left this community feeling anxious and unsafe in their streets and homes. In a neighbouring ward it was recently reported in The Bolton News that desperate residents have set up a ‘vigilante’ group to protect their area from criminals.

“I hope you will agree with me that it is now time to reverse this crisis by increasing police staffing levels and resources by putting officers back into the communities that so desperately need them. I urgently ask that you meet with me to discuss the growing concerns in Bolton South East.”