There has been understandable concern and outrage in Wallasey over the levels of local policing, and rising crime levels.
This week, the National Audit Office (NAO) published a damning report on the financial sustainability of police forces in England and Wales. The NAO is the independent financial watchdog which assesses on Parliaments’ behalf whether the Government is getting value for money from the public funds it is spending on our behalf.
The highly critical report only served to confirm what the Labour Party have been saying for the last eight years. This Government has ‘no systematic approach’ to funding police forces, and that it is ‘ineffective’ and ‘detached from policing’. It is obvious that this Tory Government do not have a clue what they are doing, and despite widespread criticism, they continue to push police forces into a funding crisis.
Time and time again I have had constituents visit my advice surgeries to raise the issue of local policing, and I have consistently called on the Government to increase police funding. But this has fallen on deaf ears.
Over the last eight years in Merseyside, the number of police officers on the streets has been cut by over 1000, from 4,516 in 2010, to 3,031 this year. This means that despite the best efforts of the remaining police officers, the number of criminals being actively pursued is falling and it is taking longer and longer to arrest the ones who are caught. Nationally, police numbers are at their lowest since 1996.
This is a Tory Government that has washed its hands of policing and the safety of our communities. The Government must act now to save police forces that are already stretched to breaking point.
You can read the full report here