In April the Home Office answered a written question from MP for Gillingham and Rainham (and friend of Jacob Rees-Mogg) Rehman Chishti. The question was on one of the biggest issues facing the constituency:
In which the former Vice Chair for the Conservative party wrote:
That’s the member of the Home Office Select Committee asking the Secretary of State for the Home Office what they are doing about shop theft in Gillingham and Rainham.
According to crime statistics there were 7 reported incidents of shoplifting in June 2019, compared to 21 reported incidents in Chatham. Which raises the question about why the MP for Chatham & Somewhere Else We Haven’t Heard Of Tracey Crouch hasn’t raised the issue.
Chishti could have spoken to his former Council colleague Cllr Stuart Tranter and learnt that convenience retailers need not worry about shop theft when the internet is going to end their business and there’s nothing we can or should do about it.
More importantly though, as a current member of the government, and as mentioned member of the Home Affairs Select Committee, he should be aware that there has been a real terms reduction in funding of the police force since 2017. With an estimated 19% reduction in funding since 2010. There has been a 20,000 fall in police numbers since 2010. Chishti became an MP in 2010.
So maybe a more pertinent question for the Conservative MP for Gillingham and Rainham to ask/answer is what affect has the reduction in police numbers had on shop theft in the Medway Towns?
Meanwhile the response received from the Home department was:
Which really clears things up.