Last Wednesday I spoke in an opposition debate day debate about cuts to policing. The debate was led by Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary Andy Burnham.
The cuts will come as a result of changes to the formula that allocates funding between police forces as well as an overall cut to the policing budget.
In the parliamentary debate I raised the point that, as well as undermining the service that the police provide, they also could also have a detrimental effect on the relationship between the public and the police.
I told the government that these cuts don’t just take away a service the public rely on but they will also undermine the relationship of trust that exists between Merseyside police and the people of Merseyside.
Merseyside Police are being asked to find £48m of cuts by 2018/19, on top of the £77m already saved since 2010.
Were the planned cuts to go ahead all 364 Merseyside Police Community Support Officers face losing their jobs, and by 2019 the total number of jobs lost could be 1,300. Every team within Merseyside is facing cuts, including teams responsible for investigating sex assaults, hate crimes and organised crime.
The debate last week follows criticisms from Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy, who has said “the sad reality is that if the cuts don’t stop now Merseyside Police will have to fundamentally change the way it serves its communities, to the detriment of everyone who lives, works and visits our region.”
I am planning to meet with Police Community Support Officers later this month to discuss the impact these cuts will have on the local area.
To read the full debate you can ring my office for a copy or find it on the following link online http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201516/cmhansrd/cm151104/debtext/151104-0002.htm#15110440001108.
A national petition sponsored by the former Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, crossbench peer Lord John Stevens, aims to build cross-party and cross-community support for the campaign against the cuts.
I want as many people as possible in our area to sign this petition to protect the local police force and I’m calling on MPs from all parties to join this campaign too. The consequences of Tory cuts are already being felt – we cannot afford to lose even more officers. The petition can be signed here https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/111560