9th April 2018 News

Government should look again at police funding as violent crime strategy contains no new money

A rise in serious violent crime

Austerity in policing should be urgently reviewed as a Home Office report says government cuts to the police had “likely contributed” to a rise in serious violent crime.

Clive Grunshaw said, “While the Government continue to highlight the need for additional resources for policing, they are failing to provide any extra money. In fact they have now forced the burden of funding policing onto local council tax payers.

“The reality is we are seeing more and more people contacting the police, with Lancashire having the highest volume of calls for its population outside London. The demands being placed on the force continue to put a significant strain on frontline policing.

“I agree that crime is complex and for years Lancashire Police have been leading the way through early action interventions with vulnerable children, families and adults. This approach can tackle the root causes of offending and prevent people from getting involved in more serious crimes but this is only sustainable with the right funding.

“I have also supported communities themselves to help tackle crime and keep Lancashire safe, with almost £350,000 of funding last year for locally identified projects and initiatives.

“Time and again I have said the government must open their eyes and understand the impact that austerity in policing, and throughout the public sector, is having. Sadly, when the time has come for action, all we get are rehashed policies and no extra resources.”

Since 2010, Lancashire Constabulary have had to make over £84m of savings and still have to make an estimated £18m more by 2022, despite Government claims that police budgets have been protected.

These reductions have led to the loss of around 800 officers and 350 police staff which include PCSOs as well as other staff.

Inspectors have been clear that in Lancashire the police are doing a good job at keeping people safe and acting to reduce crime. However, the savings that still have to be made and the demands being placed on the force continue to put a significant strain on the service.

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