Yvette Cooper reveals she doesn't always feel safe walking home at night

10 October 2023, 11:00

Yvette Cooper says she doesn't always feel safe walking alone at night
Yvette Cooper says she doesn't always feel safe walking alone at night. Picture: Global
Natasha Clark

By Natasha Clark

Yvette Cooper has told LBC she can feel unsafe walking home alone at night and gets her keys out for protection.

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The Shadow Home Secretary insisted "so little has changed" and "we can't stand for" people feeling unable to walk Britain's streets.

It came as Sir Keir Starmer and Ms Cooper launched their crime crackdown today ahead of their major conference addresses at the party gathering in Liverpool.

Yvette Cooper admits she feels unsafe walking Britain's streets

Read More: Make a citizen's arrest: The public should tackle shoplifters as police 'can't be everywhere,' minister says

Read More: Susan Hall 'doesn't feel safe walking home at night and walks with keys between her fingers' as she calls for better policing

Ms Cooper told LBC: "Like most women, most of the time I feel safe but I always have that sense of, if your walking home, from the bus stop, on your own, if its dark, you get your keys out. There's that thing we do. We have been doing it for generations...

"So little has changed."

She stressed that it was not just in big cities like London where people felt unsafe to walk the streets, but many smaller towns too.

Ms Cooper said: "The violence that people probably worry most about their kids and knife crime, about serious violence against women and girls, abuse and stalking. Keir Starmer is setting out a plan to halve the level of serious over the next ten years.

"Knife crime is about keeping our kids safe, the prevention, youth mentors, but also go after the organised criminal gangs that are luring our kids, and crack down on knife sales as well.

"There's been no grip from this government. We have got conservative Home Secretaries who aren't really interested in security on our streets.

"if you don't have security, if you don't feel safe, you can't thrive."

She also told LBC about plans for Labour to crack down on shoplifting - after we revealed that shops were losing £3.5million a day to it.

Police will be forced, under Labour, to investigate every incident of shoplifting, no matter how minor.

Ms Cooper said: "We have got this epidemic of shoplifting.

"Often it's organised gangs, repeat thefts, and they are getting away with it.

"This is not on. We need to tackle this epidemic.

"Labour will get rid of this £200 rule - that theft is not even investigated or looked into.

"It's very often the same people every day, we have shops ending up having to padlock fabric softener.

"They have to put security tags on butter and cheese. You have people coming in with a laundry basket and selling it on."

Labour would also look at tougher sentences for those who assault shop workers.

And Ms Cooper hit out at Tory Police Minister Chris Philp for backing the idea of a citizens' arrest for those who were shoplifting in their stores.

Ms Cooper said: "Tory ministers say, do a citizens arrest, but when they face abuse and attacks, how are they expected to do that?

"I think he is totally out of touch with what is happening in shops. Shop workers do their best, but they need to look after the safety of staff, they are being threatened with knives and physically assaulted.

"They could be there on their own. It's a disgrace to say, 'you sort it instead'. They have let communities down."

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