It has been a great honour to serve my constituents as the MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire over the past five years.
During that period the key priority has been to rescue the country from the disastrous effects of the financial crisis of 2008, and lower expenditures while preserving services.
Many people said that reducing spending would lead to a rise in crime. But in fact, the exact opposite has happened. Nationally, crime is at its lowest level since records began, meaning people are safer on the streets and in their home.
Herefordshire has historically been a low crime area. But nonetheless, crime has fallen 20% since 2010. This is a tremendous achievement, and a testament to the hard work of our local police officers and all those in the community who support them.
However, the Government has also taken important steps to protect individual freedom. One of the first Bills it passed in 2010 was to scrap Labour’s ID cards. Millions of innocent people’s DNA and fingerprint data have been removed from government databases. The time limit for pre-charge detention has been reduced from 28 to 14 days. Stop and search powers have been curbed.
As MP I helped dozens of local people affected by crime and anti-social behaviour. I have worked closely with the police, with street pastors and with local businesses to tackle night-time disorder, and campaigned against alcohol and tobacco smuggling.
I have supported local efforts to stop the theft of farm goods and equipment. I have lobbied the Home Office and the Crown Prosecution Service on drug driving, which injures and kills so many young people. And I have pushed to keep a police presence in the centre of Ross-on-Wye.
With your support, I will continue to fight for my constituency, and our county.
This article was originally published in the Hereford Times.