Figures released by the Home Office show the Government’s cuts to policing have resulted in the lowest number of police officers in England and Wales for over a decade.
This comes on the back of recent figures showing the proportion of crimes being solved by police is falling, with 30,000 fewer crimes solved in the last year, including 7,000 violent crimes against the person.
Commenting on the reduction in police numbers, Bob said:
“It is extremely worrying that thanks to this Conservative-led Government’s cuts to policing, we now have 1,607 fewer police officers in the West Midlands.
“This Government’s reduction in police numbers puts our communities at risk with fewer frontline officers, fewer officers responding to 999 calls and less visible police. The morale of our officers is also at an all-time low.
“These huge cuts to policing are making it harder for the police to catch criminals and deliver justice. 30,000 fewer crimes were solved under this Government in the last year, including 7,000 crimes of violence against the person.
“I know that Chief Constables and their teams across the West Midlands are trying their hardest to deal with challenging crime issues, but thanks to the current Government’s cuts, thousands of victims are being denied justice. Thousands more criminals are getting away with it – so this Tory-led Government needs to urgently rethink next year’s police budget cuts and stop letting our communities down.”
The reduction in police numbers comes as a result of the Tory-led Government’s decision to cut over £1bn from the police since 2010.
The Home Office has now released the police grant figures for 2013/14 and confirmed that investment in police would be at a three year low with over £1bn pound cut from police in England and Wales since the last election.
During a debate on police funding in the House of Commons yesterday, Bob condemned the Government’s cuts, particularly in high crime areas.
Commenting on the cuts to police funding, Bob said:
“The cuts imposed by the Government have caused severe problems for police forces the length and breadth of the country, but in the high-crime areas, the cuts are even deeper and disproportionate. For example, in the west midlands, which is a high-crime area, the cuts are deeper than they are across the nation as a whole.”
“The Government urgently needs to look again at the level of resources it provides to high crime areas, which have been hit much harder when compared to low-crime areas.”