Bury North MP James Frith has slammed the Policing Settlement laying out next year’s funding for police services as perverse and unfair.
Forces across the country have lost £2.7 billion in real terms since 2010 and 21,000 officers have been cut. The 2019/20 funding settlement allocates an additional £161 million to local forces, but police chiefs have warned that inflation and cost pressures alone will reach £484 million in 2019/20.
The government has pushed further funding increases onto already hard-pressed council tax payers by doubling the precept flexibility. This will hit areas like ours with a low council tax base hardest, meaning that those areas which have lost the most through cuts will get the least.
Greater Manchester Police lost almost £154 million in central government funding between 2010-18 and almost 2,000 officers were cut. The force is set to get just £28 million extra in 2019/20. In a recent meeting with James Frith MP, GM’s Deputy Mayor for Crime and Policing, Bev Hughes, warned that this will be swallowed by the pension blackhole facing GMP, which the government is currently expecting forces to cover themselves in 2020/21, and could lead to the loss of a further 600 police officers across GM.
“I recently met with Bev Hughes, Deputy Mayor for Crime and Policing in Greater Manchester, to discuss the concerns expressed to me by the people of Bury, Tottington and Ramsbottom about crime. She shared my worry and assured me that GMP are doing everything possible within the resources they have.
“Unfortunately, the Policing Settlement announced this week will not help the police keep our communities safe and it is a poor Christmas present for our dedicated and hardworking police officers. The additional government money is a drop in the ocean compared to the cuts we’ve already seen and passing the burden of further increases on to hard-pressed Bury tax payers is perverse and fundamentally unfair.
“A Labour government would do better. We have a plan to recruit an extra 10,000 police officers and reverse the crisis to get police officers back in the communities they serve.”