DRUG dealing and violent crimes are taking place in broad daylight in York neighbourhoods, according to a resident who is pleading with councillors to ask for more money for police.

Claire Douglas, who is also chair of Tang Hall Community Centre, said cuts to the number of police officers mean residents feel less safe in their communities and their homes.

Councillors vowed to press the police and fire commissioner to increase the number of police.

Ms Douglas, speaking at a City of York Council meeting, said: “I’m going to tell you about the real experience of our residents from Tang Hall, East Parade, Dodsworth Avenue area and Bell Farm. The incidence of theft, burglary and attempted burglaries is on the increase.

“The use and dealing of drugs, and the reality of knife and gun violence, is happening in full view and broad daylight in our residential streets and in our parks.

“How many times have I heard it said that it doesn’t happen in York? It does.”

She said North Yorkshire Police has 136 fewer officers since 2010 and drug gangs from outside the city have moved in to take advantage of vulnerable residents.

She added: “Intimidation of residents by their drug dealer neighbours has led to a culture of silence - that feeling that being a grass isn’t worth it because nothing will change.

“In the meantime our young people in all areas of the city are being enticed, dragged and bullied into this hugely damaging underworld.”

Cllr Dafydd Williams (Labour, Heworth) asked councillors to request a report into the reasons for rising crime and anti-social behaviour in the city.

He also called for leaders to lobby the police and fire commissioner to increase the numbers of frontline officers in York. The proposals were unanimously supported.

He said: “It’s inevitable that if you cut services for crime prevention, if you cut probation services, if you cut the services for mental health, if you cut the services for youth areas, of course you will see a rise in crime. Of course also if you cut the funding for a number of police officers that we have on the beat, you will see a rise in crime.”

Cllr Jenny Brooks (Conservative, Osbaldwick and Derwent) said she supported the motion but added: “York’s increases tend to be at the lower level of severity of crime and not the most serious offences. That is not to belittle what our residents feel but I think there’s a little bit more behind the figures.” Cllr Peter Dew (Conservative, Rawcliffe and Clifton Without) said: “The chief constable says she has a plan to recruit up to the maximum number of officers allowed.”