Hot on the heels of the junior doctors’ pay dispute in the NHS, the Conservative Government has decided to cut police service funding to a point at which it will be impossible to investigate crime.
Policing minister Mike Penning thinks this is perfectly acceptable. One wonders if his Conservative-voting constituents will agree when they discover there is nothing to stop burglars and thieves from stealing everything they own.
Or is this a ploy to get rid of publicly-funded policing altogether and force those who can afford it to hire private security services instead?
Seven top police figures have threatened to sue the Government over the “potentially serious implications” of police cuts.
Six regional police and crime commissioners, along with London’s deputy mayor for policing Stephen Greenhalgh, urged ministers to delay plans to slash police budgets.
Mr Greenhalgh has signed the letter alongside the police and crime commissioners of the Cumbria, Lancashire, Devon and Cornwall, Merseyside, North Yorkshire and Thames Valley forces.
George Osborne is expected to announce the cuts in his spending review later this month.
In a letter to policing minister Mike Penning , the group said changes to the police funding formula would result in cuts that are “unfair, unjustified and deeply flawed”.
It said: “Lancashire Police’s budget will reduce by nearly 14% or £25 million per year, resulting in the loss of almost all of its proactive crime fighting and crime prevention capacity by 2020.”
The letter added that “the future viability of Cumbria Police will be in question if the 15.8% or £9.4 million per year reduction in their central funding allocation is imposed.”
Mr Penning said the current model for allocating police funding is “complex, opaque and out of date”.
He said: “Police reform is working and crime has fallen by more than a quarter since 2010, according to the independent Crime Survey for England and Wales.
“But if we want policing in this country to be the best it can be, then we must reform further, and that includes putting police on a long-term, sustainable footing.”
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