Yesterday, I spoke and voted against the Police Grant settlement proposed by the Government.
Since 2010 there have been 103 Police Officers cut from North Wales Police, that’s a reduction of nearly 6.5% of the Police Force. Across Wales that figure is even higher, with a total of 613 Police Officers or 8.3% of total police lost since 2010.
North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) himself notes in his medium term financial plan that cuts of £19.653 million have been implement by North Wales Police over the last 4 years. That is because grant funding has been cut by 18%.
This has meant that 14.5% increase has been needed in the Police precept, the part of your council tax that goes to the police. Even with this increase in the cost of council tax to residents of north Wales, the PCC has had to implement 13.5% of real term cuts to North Wales police.
The Government won the motion 310 to 212 for the total House and 305 to 208 for Members for constituencies in England and Wales.
Since my last police grant settlement in 2010, we have seen the number of Police Officers drastically cut in North Wales. When Police and Security Minister I understood that the Police not only solve crimes, but they are a vital in holding together our community.
This Government, and the previous Coalition Government, have undermined our Police. Neighbourhood Policing is the golden thread that holds our communities together and without it intelligence lead policing will struggle.
Total crime may be falling, but that figure masks the fact that fraud, sexual offences and violent crime are rising. The Minister was extremely complacent during his speech about these concerning facts. I urge the Government to re-evaluate its approach to the funding grant to police and renew Labour’s work to strengthen our community policing.
You can read my speech here.