Lancs Police and Crime Commissioner calls on government to rethink cuts as violent crime rates rise
Lancashire's Police and Crime Commissioner, Clive Grunshaw, is calling on the government to reconsider police funding and free up funds to tackle violent crime amidst increasing demands for police.
After Home Secretary Amber Rudd's latest announcement contained no new money for police services and suggested a continuation of austerity in policing, the commissioner urged the Government to reassess the situation, pointing out that the absence of increased funding comes at a time when one of the Home Office's own reports indicated that cuts "likely contributed" to a rise in serious violent crime.
“While the Government continue to highlight the need for additional resources for policing, they are failing to provide any extra money," said Clive Grunshaw. "In fact, they have now forced the burden of funding policing onto local council tax payers; the demands being placed on the force continue to put a significant strain on frontline policing.
"Crime is complex and for years Lancashire Police have been leading the way through early action interventions with vulnerable children, families, and adults," he added, pointing out that Lancashire has the highest volume of calls for its population outside London. "This approach can tackle the root causes of offending and prevent people from getting involved in more serious crimes but this is only sustainable with the right funding.
"I have also supported communities themselves to help tackle crime and keep Lancashire safe, with almost £350,000 of funding last year for locally identified projects and initiatives."
Since 2010, Lancashire Constabulary have been forced to make over £84m of savings and still have to make an estimated £18m more by 2022 despite Government claims that police budgets have been protected. These reductions have led to the loss of around 800 officers and 350 police staff which include PCSOs as well as other staff.
"Time and again I have said the government must open their eyes and understand the impact that austerity in policing, and throughout the public sector, is having," Lancashire's Police and Crime Commissioner said. "Sadly, when the time has come for action, all we get are rehashed policies and no extra resources."
While inspectors have been clear that in Lancashire the police are doing a good job at keeping people safe and acting to reduce crime, the savings that still have to be made and the demands being placed on the force continue to put a significant strain on the service.