I called on the Policing Minister to ensure that the police have the resources they need to do their job. The chronic under-investment of the police has meant more officers are being used on overtime and this costs the taxpayer far more than through employing more officers.
The minister made two disingenuous points. The first was that I’m in denial over “economic reality”. I can tell the minister in no small terms that the banking crisis was not caused by Labour’s investment in local neighbourhood policing or education it was caused by the greed of a few in international finance wrecking the global economy. The second point made by the minister is that the UK Government have invested in policing this year. That is simply not true. We have seen a 20% cut in policing budgets in North Wales since 2010.
The Government simply doesn’t get it. Crime is rising because police officers are stretched. Continued failure to invest in our police will undermine our safety.
Today, I attended an event to help raise awareness of rural crime and ways to prevent it. The event was jointly hosted by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Rural Crime, the National Farmers Union and CrimeStoppers and was the formal launch of a new service for farmers, rural businesses and the public could contact to anonymously report rural crimes.
This service will provide a dedicated number, with call handlers specifically trained in rural crime, for farmers, rural businesses and the general public to anonymously report rural crime.
The bill for rural crime is now more than £42.5 million and farmers and their families in some parts of the UK have been victims of arson, vandalism and burglary with many experiencing fear, intimidation and threats of violence. Vehicle theft, hare coursing and fly-tipping are also contributing to widespread anger, frustration and worry within rural communities, according to NFU reports. Read more “Supporting Efforts to stamp out rural crime”
There have been two resignations from senior members of the Government’s cabinet today. The Foreign Secretary and the Secretary of State for Exiting the EU have both departed because they stated they had no confidence in the proposals put before them. The Government is in a mess, the Prime Ministers authority lays in tatters and we are still none the wiser on what our future relationship with the EU will be once we leave. Remember a deal must be struck by October 2018 and voted upon by Parliament to ensure that we do not fall off a cliff edge in March 2019.
Many people pressed the Prime Minister on the political situation she finds herself in. I wanted to drill down into further detail on our future security relationship with the EU. It is shocking to see that the former Home Secretary is willing to throw the European Arrest Warrant overboard and put our safety at risk. I asked her what the Government is doing to support our police officers in catching criminals and bringing them to justice.
I had the opportunity to ask the new Home Secretary how many rest days are owed to police officers in England and Wales. We know that 200,000 rest days are owed in the Metropolitan Police alone. Due to cuts police are unable to take the leave they deserve which stretches them too thin. Our police officers need to be well rested so that they can keep us safe.
The new Home Secretary didn’t know. He may be new to the job but he should know what the resourcing levels are like for Welsh and English police forces. I will now table a written question to see if anyone in the Government knows or if they are simply running the police on officers who are stretched to thin.