Last week the Government voted through their latest cuts to police budgets. According to Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), 15,000 police officers will be gone by the time of the next election. However the real cuts are running ahead of its predictions, as we have already lost 178 officers in South Yorkshire.
The Government have been consistently warned that they have gone too far, too fast in cutting the police budget by 20 per cent. Such a deep cut has impacted on frontline policing– there were almost 7,000 fewer frontline police officers just two years into this Government.
There are fewer frontline officers, including officers in 999 response, traffic and neighbourhood teams; and the police are less visible and available under this Government.
These huge cuts to policing are making it harder for the police to catch criminals and deliver justice. 30,000 fewer crimes were solved under this Government in the last year, including 7,000 crimes of violence against the person.
A more proportionate plan of 12 per cent cuts over a Parliament was shown by HMIC to be deliverable without impacting on the frontline. The cuts in police numbers we are seeing are down to the Government's choices. They should urgently rethink the scale of police cuts and set out a proper plan for police reform instead.