Despite the Government’s u-turn over further police funding cuts, West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper is still concerned frontline policing is under pressure.
Following the Chancellor’s announcement to freeze rather than cut funding for policing more details have begun to emerge.
There are concerns that funding committed for counter-terrorism, the Emergency Services Mobile Communications Programme and transformation funding for some forces will be top-sliced from police budgets rather than new funding being provided.
MP Rosie has written to the Home Secretary to seek clarification on how these funding commitments will affect policing in our communities.
Rosie Cooper MP said:
“A freeze is better than the planned cuts. Although this still puts pressure on police budgets and is no promise against future cuts.
“I am concerned that what we might see is cuts by the back door to local police budgets to fund the Government’s commitments rather than new money to tackle security threats.
“Despite the funding u-turn Lancashire Police, recognised as an “Outstanding” force, continues to face major challenges.
“Even ahead of the Autumn Statement I was dealing with a case which involved a break-in at a local business. The police were called but were unable to send an officer. It was several days before an officer attended.
“Even our best police forces are having to make tough decisions on dealing with each incident.
“People deserve to feel safe in their homes and on the street but this Government is weakening frontline policing with every passing week.”
Rosie has previously challenged Home Office ministers on the effects of cuts to policing budgets on local communities, including in March 2015 when she raised concerns about plans for further cuts on top of the £60 million of cuts already incurred in Lancashire since 2010. In response Policing Minister, Rt Hon. Mike Penning MP stated in the House of Commons during Home Office questions that ‘The Home Secretary and I have made it clear that there is no question but that the police will have the resources to do their important work.’ A statement Rosie has challenged as being misleading.