Reckless police budget cuts endanger the people of Greater Manchester, the region’s Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd says.
Tony was speaking out after George Osborne announced that the Home Office budget, which includes policing, will be cut by another 6% in 2015-16. The Chancellor has not revealed how much police budgets will be cut by, beyond saying it will be “less” than 6%.
A 6% cut would see Greater Manchester Police lose another £26.8m – the equivalent of 1,200 student police officers.
This would be on top of the £134m that’s already been taken from policing in the region resulting in the loss of 1,138 police officers.
Tony is now calling on Home Secretary Theresa May to put party politics aside and stand up to the Chancellor.
“The communities of Greater Manchester have suffered enough because of these reckless cuts that have already left a £134m hole in the local policing budget and the loss of more than 1,000 police officers from our streets,” Tony said.
“This unthinking approach by George Osborne and Theresa May is simply not acceptable and certainly not sustainable and I urge them to go back to the drawing board.
“With the axe also falling on other public services, the police are increasingly being expected to cover the gaps in mental health, social services, fire and rescue and probation services. More and more they are both the agency of first response and last resort. You cannot expect the police service to do more, while taking away the resources they need to do the job properly.
“I welcome the decision that spending on counter-terror policing will be protected but I’m disappointed that the same consideration hasn’t been given to protecting visible local policing – the 2.6 million residents of Greater Manchester rightly deserve nothing less.
“Local people are already rightly concerned about the impact of these disproportionate cuts on the police’s ability to effectively fight crime and keep them safe. Today’s announcement is another blow to the people of Greater Manchester and I will continue to lobby Government to reconsider their irresponsible approach and reverse the damage they are doing to our communities.”