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.
Yet again I asked the Home Office minister if we will remain a member of EUROPOL next April or if we would have to recruit to replace the lost expertise and workforce.
The minister talks about hopes and desires to secure a similar relationship. Let’s be clear: EUROPOL is vital for our national security. We are the second biggest contributor to it and a sizeable number of its policies originate from UK policing standards.
The outgoing Welsh born director of EUROPOL, Rob Wainwright, has already signalled his fear of our loss of influence if we leave the organisation and I agree with him. We need to maintain strong cooperation with our European allies and losing EUROPOL is a surefire way to hasten this demise.
On Monday, I asked the Minister of State for Police, Brandon Lewis MP, about the forthcoming police grant settlement.
The grant settlement is where central government provides a grant to police to perform their duties. The remaining gap between the needs of the police and the grant is made up with local government taxation, like council tax.
The projected central government grant income for North Wales police for 2017/18 is set, once again, to be cut. That means that since 2010/11 the Government has cut funding to North Wales police by a little under £4.5 million. The only way for our police to fulfill their duties and provide the protection that we need is to ask local government for more contributions. This sees council tax rates rise to compensate for the Government’s cuts. Read more “Home Office Questions: Police Funding Settlement”