Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner has marked three years in post calling on the Government to put an end to the cuts to policing budgets.Clive Grunshaw took up office on November 22, 2012 and since then has had to oversee continuing cuts to his budget as a direct result of austerity measures.
Now in the light of the continued threat of terrorism he has called on the Government to keep residents safe and abandon plans to reduce police budgets still further in its Comprehensive Spending Review next Wednesday.
He said: “Police and Crime Commissioners are the voice of people they represent and here in Lancashire people are saying loud and clear that they think the cuts have gone far enough and they have real concerns about safety, particularly when considering the recent events in Paris.
“Lancashire Constabulary has delivered cuts of £63m and identified another £11m of savings to 2016/17. We have managed these cuts well, driving out waste and ensuring we have been able to maintain frontline policing. But enough is enough.
“Our cuts so far amount to a 26% reduction in our budget in cash terms and services are thinner on the ground. Any further reduction means we will have no resilience in the event of a Paris-style terror attack.
“I want to see the Constabulary continue to build trust and understanding among the many different communities we serve that will encourage them to speak out against any concerns they may have, knowing that they will be trusted and respected in doing so.
“If we cut our neighbourhood teams further we may lose the confidence of communities to report concerns. Without this reporting we couldn’t have secured the recent conviction of a 15 year old Lancashire school boy who was plotting an Anzac day attack.”
The Commissioner highlighted falling crime, successful inspections by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, the maintenance of frontline policing, successful convictions of major criminals, and the recent campaign to halt the funding review as key successes in the three years since he took up office saying:
“There is no doubt my role has made a significant difference to the way we have handled the cuts we have faced. I promised to ensure neighbourhood policing was maintained in Lancashire and I have done that. It is now time the Government recognised it has a responsibility to do this too in order to keep the public safe.”
For more information on the role of the Commissioner and his work in Lancashire this year please see the Police and Crime Commissioner film.