I have learnt that North Wales police will face yet more cuts to their budgets from central government.
The Police Core Settlement, which is the funding the police are given by central government, was announced yesterday and the figures show that North Wales police are to see another cut of 1.4% from last year’s settlement. This means that the police will have a cut of just over £500,000 since last year. That is equivalent to 18 full time police officers earning £31,000 a year – the average salary for a police officer.
This is now the fourth consecutive year of cuts being faced by North Wales police. Since this Government came to power in 2010/11 North Wales have had their central government funding cut by over £4,000,000 or 9.73%. This is equivalent to 138 full time police officers working for the force being sacked.
North Wales will now be receiving £40,025,108 in funding from central government for 2016/17.
North Wales has seen a cut of 6.47% to its police workforce since March 2010. Wales in total has seen a cut of 8.31% over the same period. That’s a loss of 613 police officers in Wales.
Once again North Wales is being let down by the UK Government. They have now cut the budgets of our police for four consecutive years. Each cut has meant a loss of police officers who are able to walk our streets and ensure that community policing is being fulfilled.
The local police force is doing its best in these difficult circumstances, but the loss of the equivalent of 138 officers by these cuts since 2010/11 will make it harder for North Wales police to tackle the root causes of crime. Not only that, but it will undermine the many other services that our police carry out on our behalf. We must remember that the police not only catch criminals, but they play an important role of deterring crime and helping people avoid following a life of criminality.
Community policing was introduced by the last Labour government, and as policing Minister I continued to fund it. I understood then, as I still do today, that people want to see police officers on the streets. They want their police to be friendly and approachable. Only community policing secures our long-term safety and security; cutting crime and its causes.