We need the Government to give us back our cops
Your Conservative MP Guy Opperman claims to be tough on crime and anti-social behaviour. The truth is that over the Tories’ thirteen years of failure Northumbria Police has taken the biggest financial hit of all the police forces in England and Wales.
Our local police forces have been starved of funds and resources to the tune of £148 million and 1100 police officers. These cuts have been described recently by our Labour Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, as “grossly unfair”. Recent money from government to recruit new officers only covers 615 new recruits, leaving a shortfall of 485.
The Tories are trumpeting that they have recruited 20,000 police officers nationally. Yet these officers barely compensate for the cuts in police staffing made nationally since 2010.
“We all know police numbers are nowhere near what they once were. Our communities know – they can tell. In Northumbria, we have exceeded uplift targets and that’s been our own making, our own financial planning, our own difficult decisions – we’ve had to go above and beyond as Government targets were nowhere near enough.
“Our population is growing; poverty is growing yet police numbers are plummeting. Nationally, it’s claimed forces need 50,000 to join to make any meaningful difference so we just have to sit tight until we know more. If there’s no continuation, no real plan, people will be put at risk and communities will suffer. Our region will suffer.
“We’ve been plagued by cuts in the North East and need a commitment to a consistent recruitment cycle. We need Government to give us back our cops.”
The Police Federation that represents rank-and-file officers has said forces need 50,000 to join to make any meaningful difference.
13 years of Tory failure: crime up, convictions down
Last year (2022) recorded crime hit a twenty year high and conviction rates plummeted. Just 5.6% of cases reported to the police resulted in a charge or summons. Shockingly in 42% of rape cases the victims gave up and withdrew from the criminal justice system.
Labour’s Yvette Cooper, the Shadow Home Secretary, said:
“Hundreds of thousands more criminals are getting away with appalling crimes and more victims are being let down under the Conservatives. That’s the shocking reality”.
Fighting crime is a Labour cause
Keir Starmer, the Leader of the Labour Party, has promised to deliver justice for working people.
1) we will restore confidence in every police force to its highest ever level.
2) we will halve incidents of knife crime.
3) we will reverse the collapse in the proportion of crime solved.
4) by solving more crime, by reducing the number of victims who drop out of the system, we will halve the levels of violence against women and girls.
This is our mission: to halve violent crime and raise confidence in the Police and criminal justice system. Our Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuiness is already on the case but there’s a long road ahead.
Charts from Gavin Hales @gmhales on Twitter. Image from Kyle Bushnell on Unsplash