Government urged to rethink police funding plan after spike in recorded crime

PUBLISHED: 13:33 06 February 2018 | UPDATED: 15:26 06 February 2018

Shadow police minister Louise Haigh

Shadow police minister Louise Haigh

PA Archive/PA Images

A shadow minister is urging the Government to rethink a “freeze” in police funding she claims will push the service beyond “breaking point”.

Ahead of the vote in the House of Commons, shadow police minister Louise Haigh has highlighted some of the crime figures for the region in a bid to stop the rubber-stamping of another year without increased funding from central coffers.

She said: “When the most recent crime figures were released, they revealed that recorded crime had risen at the fastest rate for an entire generation.

“In Norfolk overall crime is up 12pc, violent offences rising by the same amount, and sexual offences have risen by a shocking 23pc.

“Ask yourself, when was the last time you saw a bobby on the beat in your community? For many it was a very long time ago, last year two fifths of people said they never see officers on foot patrol, and the truth is our communities are exposed.

“So with our police at breaking point, what have the Tories chosen to do?

“Rather than give our police the funding they have asked for to fight soaring crime and keep us safe, the Tories chose instead to slash Home Office support to local forces by £100m in real terms over the next year.

“To put that into context, that money would pay for about 2,000 police officers nationwide.”

In December home secretary Amber Rudd announced an extra £450m for the police but it would be raised by adding an extra £12 to each household’s council tax bill.

Addressing MPs at the time, policing minister Nick Hurd said the money was a “comprehensive settlement that makes sure police have the resources they need”. The increase relies upon each police and crime commissioner applying to raise the precept.

Ms Haigh added: “To add insult to injury they expect hard-pressed local taxpayers to cover the cost of those real-terms cuts.

“Forces which have seen the biggest loss in officers will gain the least from this plan.”

“All Norfolk MPs will have the chance to vote in the House of Commons on Conservative plans for yet another year of real-terms cuts for the police. The police are dealing with soaring crime as well as filling in for cuts to other public services.”

She added some police chiefs had written to the government opposing the funding plan saying it would “expose gaps in the protection of the public”.

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