Police budgets are due to be cut by a further £23 million in the next three years as the Office for National Statistics (ONS) announces rise in violent crime.
Stephen Morgan, Labour MP for Portsmouth South, has expressed his concern at rising crime rates and backed a letter sent by Neighbourhood Watch in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, condemning any further cuts to police budgets.
In the letter, the Neighbourhood Watch Association calls on the Government to reverse cuts to policing and invest more in local forces.
Since 2010, Hampshire Constabulary has had to make cumulative annual savings of £82million (24%). With further estimated budget cuts of £23million by 2020/21 there is expected to be a significant impact on police capacity.
Margaret Filley, President of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Neighbourhood Watch Association, said:
“Hampshire residents are very concerned that front line officer numbers are being reduced and even cover for holidays, absence, maternity leave etc is not available.
With the reductions in other public services, fewer Police officers are dealing with more community problems such as mental health issues. This is not only alarming but dangerous”.
MP for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, said:
“Our police officers and support officers and the communities they so bravely serve deserve more from this Government. Over 20,000 police officers and 6,000 community support officers have been axed despite promises to protect the frontline.
I have seen first-hand the impact cuts to policing are having in our great city, with local businesses, families, and, importantly, police officers themselves suffering the consequences.
I will continue to oppose deep Tory cuts to the police and press the Government to provide those who risk their lives to protect ours with the resources they need to do their jobs safely and effectively”.
The Office of National Statistics this week announced that the number of annually recorded crimes in England and Wales has passed 5million for the first time in ten years, rising by 13%. Violent crime rose by 19%, the ONS said.
Stephen Morgan MP, added:
“This is the worst possible time to cut police budgets. Whilst officer numbers have fallen to their lowest level in 30 years, the police have also recorded the highest crime rises in a decade.
Labour will hire extra officers to prioritise neighbourhood policing and bear down on crime and its causes”.