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Police Cuts in Merseyside

Volume 605: debated on Wednesday 27 January 2016

The petition of Residents of Merseyside,

Declares that Merseyside Police has already lost 1600 people since 2010; further that if cuts don’t stop now, Merseyside Police will lose all PCSOs, the entire mounted section and 1000 more police officers and staff; further than additional cuts will affect the teams which fight serious and organised crime, investigate rape and sexual violence and tackle hate crime; further that the cuts will also affect the Force’s ability to provide neighbourhood policing, as it is depleted from a strength of more than 7300 officers in 2010 to fewer than 4500 officers in 2019; further that this situation could get even worse if the Chancellor decides to cut the police budget even further on November 25th; further that more cuts may put the safety of Merseyside residents at risk; and further that with crime already starting to rise, the petitioners believe that these damaging cuts should be stopped before they seriously weaken the Force’s ability to keep residents safe.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to end the cuts to Merseyside Police.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Official Report, 23 November 2015; Vol. 602, c. 7p.]


Observations from the Minister for Policing, Crime and Criminal Justice (Mike Penning):

The Government are committed to protecting the public. That has been true over the last five years and remains the case for the current Parliament.

The Government have secured a good settlement for the police in the Spending Review. Overall police spending will be protected in real terms over the Spending Review period, when local income is taken into account. This is an increase of up to £900 million in cash terms by 2019-20.

As set out in the written ministerial statement that accompanied the 2016-17 Provisional Police Grant Report, in 2016-17 no Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) will face a reduction in cash funding if precept income is maximised. On top of this, transformation funding will be available to develop specialist capabilities to tackle emerging crimes and to enable a major uplift in firearms capability and capacity.

This does not change our view, which is shared by police leaders, that further efficiencies can be delivered by forces. As HM Inspectorate of Constabulary has reinforced, there remain further efficiencies to be made from improved and better use of IT, from greater collaboration between forces and with other public services, and from improving workforce productivity.

Decisions on the size and composition of a police force’s workforce are for individual Chief Constables and PCCs. What matters is how officers are deployed, not how many of them there are. All forces need to look at the way frontline services are delivered to ensure that the quality of service provided is maintained or improved.

We trust that PCCs and Chief Constables will do everything in their power to continue to drive efficiencies, safeguard the quality of policing and continue to reduce crime. Overall, the public should be in no doubt that the police will have the resources they need to respond to new threats rapidly and effectively to keep people safe.