Denton and Reddish MP, Andrew Gwynne, has urged the Government to think again on their plans for the police budget as cuts from central government continue.
Since 2010 over 21,000 police officers have been lost, over 16,000 police staff and over 6,000 community support officers have been axed despite a promise to protect the frontline. Moreover, police recorded violent crime is now at the highest on record; knife offences are at the highest level since records began; arrests have halved in a decade; unsolved crimes stand at 2 million.
Police budgets have been cut by £2.7bn in real terms between 2010-18 and the Government has already broken promises made by the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary to protect funding, slashing central government funding by over £400m since 2015. Locally, Greater Manchester Police Force has seen a net loss of £153,765,745 in their budget between 2010-18.
Rather than properly fund the police, Minister have chosen to heap the burden onto local taxpayers by raising the precept and it is communities in the most need, suffering from the largest cuts, which will get the least. There should be no winners and losers when it comes to public safety.
The £161m offered by Central Government is just a drop in the ocean and overall (including the precept) it means that many forces will lose out in real-terms once inflation, cost pressures and other funding pressures such as the pay-rise & apprenticeship levy are taken into account. By contrast police Chiefs have privately warned inflation and cost pressures will reach £484m in 2019/20.
Labour has a plan to make Britain safer. Labour will recruit 10,000 more police officers, 1,000 more security and intelligence staff and 500 more border guards. We will increase staffing levels and resources for the security and intelligence agencies – GCHQ, SIS and MI5 – to counter the growing and unprecedented terror threat.
Andrew Gwynne said:
“Since the Tories came to power, crime has gone up, police budgets have gone down and police numbers have dropped even more.
“These plans by the Home Secretary are fundamentally unfair and do nothing to plug the £2.7 billion cut that police forces have faced in real terms thanks to Tory austerity”.