SIR – Boris Johnson has hit the ground running as prime minister and his announcements on policing and crime are particularly welcome.

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The highlight will be recruiting 20,000 new police officers over the next three years to make our streets safer. People want to see more officers in their neighbourhoods, protecting the public and cutting crime.

The government is also reviewing the use of stop and search to give the police greater powers to tackle serious violence, with a view to rolling this out across all forces.

Earlier this week, £35m was announced to set up Violence Reduction Units to support police in the areas worst affected by serious violence, to include over £1.1m for Avon and Somerset.

This is in addition to the £1.7m-plus announced for Avon and Somerset in the spring. These new units, which will bring together a host of organisations, will be responsible for identifying what is driving violent crime in the area and coming up with a coordinated response.

Meanwhile, moves are afoot to make it harder than ever to get hold of dangerous weapons or corrosive substances, via the Offensive Weapons Act, which received Royal Assent in May.

There have also been some positive announcements around prisons and sentencing.

These include the creation of 10,000 new prison places, with better opportunities to reform criminals and reduce reoffending, a crackdown on crime in prisons, including airport-style security to target drugs, weapons and mobile phones, and an urgent review into the sentences of violent and sexual offenders to ensure the public are properly protected from the most dangerous criminals.

It’s clear the new Prime Minister and the government are committed to giving police the powers and resources they need to tackle crime and ensuring dangerous criminals are kept off our streets and properly punished.

Peter Booth, Chairman of South West Conservatives

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