New analysis of National Audit Office data by the Labour Party shows a fall in central government funding to the Thames Valley of £80.6m in real-terms since the Tories came to power 2010-11.
Last month, the Home Secretary admitted that “there is a need for more resources” for the police.
A growing number of police leaders have gone public with warnings about the impact of austerity on policing in recent weeks, including Chief Constables of Greater Manchester, West Midlands, Merseyside and Norfolk warning of further workforce cuts as a result of demands to find another £165m in 2019-20 and up to £417m in 2020-21. The Chief Constable of Staffordshire and Deputy Chief Constable of Manchester have even taken to Twitter to warn the Treasury about the impact of austerity on policing in their communities.
Charlynne Pullen, Labour’s candidate in Milton Keynes North, said:
“If austerity really is over the Government must cough up money in the Budget to give our police the funding they need.
“As Milton Keynes grows, we simply cannot keep residents safe on the cheap. These figures demonstrate the true scale of the Tory assault on police funding that is devastating the Thames Valley’s communities and leaving them at risk.
Hannah O’Neill, Labour’s candidate in Milton Keynes South and Deputy Leader of MK Council, said:
“Even the Home Secretary concedes that the Conservatives have been short-changing forces, and yet there is no sign of austerity ending for the police anytime soon.
“Why have Iain Stewart and Mark Lancaster still not called on Theresa May to cancel the billions of pounds of cuts she’s got planned for the next four years?
“Labour’s commitment to policing and public safety is clear. We will recruit 10,000 more police officers to keep our communities safe.
Speaking at the Police Superintendents Annual Conference recently, the Home Secretary conceded that “there is a need for more resources”.
“I do recognise the pressures on policing. I’ll fight on the police’s behalf so you have the resources you need to do your jobs effectively… I recognise there is a need for more resources. I don’t think the increases over the past 3 years have been enough”
Sajid Javid, Police Superintendents Annual Conference, 11 September 2018, https://news.sky.com/story/sajid-javid-admits-police-do-not-have-enough-resources-as-he-faces-pay-anger-11495380
However, the Chancellor has reportedly dismissed suggestions there will be more funding for police at the Budget, even though Whitehall sources have said extra investment is needed “just to stand still” and ministers admit that the “police need more resources”.
Sunday Times, 21 October 2018, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/warning-as-philip-hammond-rejects-rise-in-police-funds-xlrkr6lbc
“There has been a major shift in the threats we are facing from organised crime, terrorism and Russia. That’s just a fact. The police need more resources.”
Unnamed minister, Sunday Times, 21 October 2018
Police chiefs have also recently been told to find another £165m in 2019-20 and up to £417m in 2020-21 as a result of an overhaul of pension schemes announced recently by the Treasury.
Times, 11 October 2018, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/ten-thousand-police-at-risk-in-600m-cash-crunch-kj9jwmfqr
The NAO recently calculated that central government funding to commissioners has fallen by 30 percent in real terms since 2010-11. NAO, Financial Sustainability of Police Forces in England and Wales, 11 September 2018, https://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Financial-sustainability-of-police-forces-in-England-and-Wales-2018.pdf
Using a Freedom of Information request, Labour asked the NAO to provide the background data used to calculate the 30 percent reduction.
Analysis shows that this 30 percent fall equates to a £2.7bn real-terms reduction in central government funding to police forces since 2010-11.