Lancashire crime commissioner joins Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham in call to end police cuts

Clive Grunshaw
Clive Grunshaw

Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw has put his name alongside the likes of Manchester mayor Andy Burnham on a letter demanding an end to police funding cuts.

Politicians across the North West of England joined forces to call on the Government to reverse years of policing austerity.

Mr Grunshaw joined Police and Crime Commissioners for Merseyside and Cheshire as well as the Greater Manchester mayor in writing to the Home Secretary.

He said, “I hear from people and officers across Lancashire about their concerns about the resources available to the police to do their job and keep communities safe.

“The Government need to listen to these concerns and commit to reversing austerity.”

The letter was sent to coincide with the Queen’s speech, in which the Government’s agenda was revealed.

“Despite promises from Ministers around ‘protecting’ budgets Lancashire receives less money every year from the Government to deliver a policing service. My message to the Home Secretary is that this needs to change and we need to start re-investing in policing, not cutting our budgets further.”

Mr Burnham, said: “We urgently need a wholesale review of police funding in the light of the changing times we are living in. Our police forces have absorbed the brunt of cuts as best they can since 2010, but more savings still need to be found and officer numbers are tumbling. As we see the terrorist threat at its highest ever level, and an increase in violent crime, our thin blue line has become dangerously overstretched.

“In Greater Manchester alone we have 2,000 fewer police officers patrolling our streets. This level of pressure cannot be sustained and, without a doubt, Greater Manchester Police needs more officers. Our Chief Constable Ian Hopkins has said that officer numbers are currently at the low end of reasonable, which to me means borderline unreasonable.

“The tragic events of recent months have highlighted just how important the police service is to the safety of our people, and this is an area that cannot simply be pruned back beyond recognition. But even prior to these terror attacks, policing was struggling to cope with the day-to-day demands placed on it. The Government must act now and reverse the cuts before our police service becomes unviable.”

In Lancashire savings of £72 million have had to be found since 2010 with more than £19 million additional savings estimated to be needed by 2020. This has meant a reduction of 800 officers and more than 400 police staff.