Labour leader sets out plans for police reform

South Wales Police Federation chair Steve Treharne has backed proposed police reforms aimed at tackling violence against women and girls and reducing antisocial behaviour.

Steve made his comments after a speech by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer in which he unveiled his party’s plans to modernise policing and restore lost trust and confidence in the service.

Sir Keir said policing “must change” but he warned: “It’s going to be a long, hard road.”

He vowed to “reverse the collapse in the proportion of crime solved”and halve levels of violence against women and girls within a decade if he wins power at the next general election.

Under the proposals, specialist domestic abuse workers would be placed in every police control room and specialist rape units would be set up “in every police force”.

Sir Keir also pledged to halve serious violent crime and raise confidence in the police and criminal justice system in the wake of the Casey report into the Metropolitan Police.

In a speech at Stoke-on-Trent, he said: “Policing must start to serve women and minorities, no more excuses.

“Modernising the police is also the first step we need to take on halving violence amongst women and girls.”

Sir Keir said the importance of “visible neighbourhood police” was “crystal clear” and repeated a promise to recruit 13,000 extra officers and “get more police on the beat”.

Labour has vowed to recruit 13,000 extra neighbourhood police officers

He said Labour would also prioritise “fighting the virus that is anti-social behaviour: fly-tipping, off-road biking in rural areas, drugs”.

Steve said policing had to acknowledge and accept the need for reform.

He said: “We must be under no illusion that public trust and confidence in the police has fallen and it is our duty to do everything we can to repair it.

“We warned that cuts to policing had consequences but were dismissed as scaremongers but the crisis we now face is a direct result of years of under-funding. 

“Our members want to deliver a modern, effective service that the people of South Wales can have trust in confidence in so we welcome any proposals that will help us achieve that. 

“We support proposals to clamp down on violent offenders, particularly those that commit violent crimes against women and girls, and to tackle the scourge of antisocial behaviour.”