It’s time for ‘straight-talking’ on police cuts

Labour’s Shadow Minister for Policing, Louise Haigh MP, has written to the UK Statistics Authority to complain about misleading statements by the PM which claim her Government has put extra investment in policing.

Over recent weeks, the PM and other senior Tories have consistently made misleading claims that the funding settlement for 2018/19 provides extra investment from central Government, despite actually only committing to flat-cash protection, Labour has said.

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan has repeatedly called upon the Government to provide a better funding deal for Hampshire Constabulary to help protect policing budgets in Portsmouth. He used Prime Minister’s Questions earlier this month to tell the Prime Minister of the impact cuts are having on small businesses in Portsmouth, who have seen a significant rise in break-ins.

Mr Morgan has met with the Chief Constable, recently went out on patrol with local officers as part of a new pilot scheme in the city centre and this week discussed with Hampshire Police Federation Chair, John Apter, the impact the lack of resources are having on frontline operational responsibilities.

Hampshire Constabulary have had 1,000 officers and £80 million cut since 2011 and are set to lose a further £10 million this year alone.

Louise Haigh MP, Shadow Policing Minister, said:

‘Across the country, forces are facing a real-terms reductions in their funding. Local taxpayers are picking up the pieces for the Tories’ continued reckless cuts to policing, and senior police officers are warning that communities’ safety is at risk.

Rather than be straight with people, Theresa May seems determined to pretend the council tax increases she is burdening on hard-pressed households are actually investment in policing by central Government.

The truth is, whether it’s on rising crime or falling budgets, you simply cannot believe a word the Tories say on law and order.’

Stephen Morgan MP, added:

“It’s about time the Government were honest about the impact their cuts to policing are having.

People in Portsmouth and our small business owners can see for themselves the pressure our hardworking officers are under.

On the watch of a Tory Police and Crime Commissioner, Hampshire Constabulary’s resources have already been cut to the bone and now the Government are asking them to make tens of millions more in savings.

This means fewer bobbies on the beat, valuable links to the public are lost, and, ultimately, makes our communities less safe – whether the PM wants to admit it or not.

People in Portsmouth have had enough. They can see for themselves what the Government continues to deny – that cuts have consequences”.