BATLEY and Spen MP Tracy Brabin has accused the government of leaving a “shameful legacy of cuts” during a debate she called in Parliament on the impact of rising crime in smaller towns and communities.

Ms Brabin called the Westminster Hall debate to highlight the damage being done by a “crime epidemic” in Batley and Spen.

Recent police statistics show that from April 2018 to March 2019, there were 2,686 incidents of anti-social behaviour reported across the constituency and more than 2,700 incidents of burglary, criminal damage or arson.

In the same period, there were almost 4,500 reported incidents of violence and sexual offences.

The MP also detailed the extent of cuts to policing locally, with West Yorkshire losing more than 1,000 police officers since 2010, and over £140m in central government funding.

“Crime and anti-social behaviour is deeply damaging for our communities and we urgently need to do something about it.

“I don’t believe it’s an exaggeration to call what we’re seeing a crime epidemic - the staggering figures speak for themselves.”

She added: “This shameful legacy of cuts has even led to a loss of faith in our police force for some.”