With a parliamentary vote on further cuts to police budgets scheduled for Wednesday 7th February Ashley Dalton, Labour’s candidate for Rochford and Southend East has called on James Duddridge MP to stand up for Essex Police.
Ashley has sent the following letter to James Duddridge MP.
As you will be aware, this Wednesday the 2018/19 Police Grant Report will be laid before Parliament.
The Conservatives cut £2.3 billion from police budgets between 2010 and 2015. Theresa May promised to protect funding after 2015, but in reality forces faced further cuts to their budgets. Direct Government funding has fallen by over £400m in real-terms since 2015.
Before Christmas, the Home Office set out its provisional funding settlement for 2018/19, falsely claiming this equated to £450m in extra funding. In reality, the only new money central Government has committed is an extra £50m for counter-terror policing (having previously planned to reduce counter-terrorism funding for police by 7.2% over the next three years – or around £50m).
The remaining funding will only be realised if PCCs increase their policing precept to the maximum amount allowable. The Conservative Government itself has only kept its funding at flat-cash levels with last year. That means it is imposing yet another real-terms cut, this time worth £100m.
These cuts have consequences. Across England and Wales we have seen the loss of over 21,000 officers – with more than 17,000 from the frontline. And over 6,700 Community Support Officers and 17,000 police staff have also gone since 2010.
Essex has lost over 700 officers under this Tory Government and more than 350 PCSOs. In the past year, recorded crime has increased 11% locally, with violence up 16% and weapons offences up 52%. This is the worst time to cut funding even further, but that’s exactly what Theresa May plans to do with another £2.7m real-terms funding cuts for 2018/19.
As our local MP, this Wednesday instead of simply falling in line behind Theresa May as she imposes an eighth year of cuts on our overstretched police, it is time for you to take a stand.
Labour will be calling on the Government to urgently think again and come back with a fair settlement that properly protects our communities. And we are calling on Tory MPs to stand up for their constituents by voting down Theresa May’s latest cuts to police budget.
Given the public interest in this issue, I am releasing this letter to the media.
Labour’s candidate for Rochford and Southend East
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