Merseyside police face another year of Tory cuts after the government forced through a Police Grant Settlement confirming that our police are going to be denied the resources they need to do the best possible job.
New threats are emerging from cybercrime and an increase in hate crime following the Brexit vote, while the reductions in the most serious and violent offences seen under the last Labour government are on the rise again.
This is the worst possible time to cut resources from our police, but that is what this Tory government is doing.
The Tories claim to be the party of law and order, but under Theresa May as both Home Secretary and now Prime Minister, their record is one of failure, letting down victims and the police, with no answers to the long-term challenges we face.
Merseyside Police have been working hard with Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy and local communities to prepare for the cuts. Together, they have agreed to offset the impact of the £3.3 million government funding shortfall by increasing the amount paid towards policing by people locally through their Council Tax bill by 1.95 per cent.
That’s an increase of £2 a year for a Band A property – the lowest category of Council Tax and the amount paid by the majority of tax payers on Merseyside.
However, even with this careful planning, the police will still have to find £6.8 million of cuts in the next financial year.
The Police and Crime Commissioner says that the service is underfunded by at least £21 million and by March next year, the service will be reduced to 3,580 police officers – 420 fewer than the 4,000 it needs.
I will work with the Police and Crime Commissioner, the police, other Merseyside MPs and our local communities to press the government to provide the necessary funding to prioritise neighbourhood policing and to tackle crime and its causes.