THE new Conservative parliamentary candidate for Reading East is calling for at least 1,000 extra police officers in the Thames Valley.
Craig Morley said he has written to the new home secretary with his request following an evening shift with officers in the Caversham area.
And he added that having more police on the streets is one of his six campaign pledges he’s taking to Reading East voters – the constituency includes parts of Woodley and Earley.
In a statement, he said: “In the course of the evening [with Thames Valley Police], we attended a drunken brawl in Caversham, and investigated the disappearance of a man who had vanished several days prior in the middle of laying someone’s new floor.”
“There were calls coming in frequently, including gangs of young boys on bicycles terrorising shop keepers in South Reading – one who had threatened a shopkeeper with a knife off of Northumberland Avenue, and travellers who had bludgeoned a dog to death and dumped it in bushes in the same area.
“I was out speaking to residents on Northumberland Avenue, Cressingham Road and surrounding roads on Saturday morning.
“And it was clear that crime was a real concern. That view is shared by residents across the constituency – residents in Woodley have also had problems with young boys on bicycles terrorising shoppers in the Precinct.”
And his experience has given him fresh insight into the challenges and pressures of the job – and his father was a senior officer in the force while three of his four brothers have also worked for Thames Valley Police.
“The force do a fantastic job – and they need our continued support,” he explained.
“I am campaigning for the Home Office to recruit 1,000 of [the 20,000 pledged by new Prime Minister Boris Johnson] for Thames Valley Police, and ensuring that we get our fair share in Reading, which is the most overstretched area within the Thames Valley.”
“Policing runs in my blood,” he said, “I may not have joined the police as an officer but I volunteer in my spare time for the Strategic Independent Advisory Group at TVP HQ – I want to do my bit to support our hardworking police, and help them crackdown on crime in Reading East to make our community a safer place to live.”