MPs’ warning to minister on cuts to police

Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw.

Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw.

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Fylde coast MPs called on Policing Minister Mike Penning to rethink the way Lancashire Police is funded during talks at Westminster.

They were among MPs from across Lancashire who met with the minister in the wake of proposals which mean the county’s police force is facing a further £24.8m of cuts on top of £74m already saved since 2010.

Chief Constable Steve Finnigan has warned Lancashire faces the harshest budget cuts in England .

Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden said: “We pressed the minister on the new formula being proposed as it seems grossly unfair to Lancashire compared to other counties of a similar size and nature.

“We emphasised nothing in this formula takes into account the fact that much of the crime and effects we face in Blackpool, for example bootleg alcohol, counterfeiting, comes from outside Blackpool, such as criminal gangs possibly in Manchester or Merseyside.

“Blackpool has 11 or 12 million visitors a year and the potential policing costs of this are not reflected in the formula.”

The MPs, agreed to write a joint letter to Mr Penning highlighting their concerns.

Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw said: “I understand the meeting was productive.

“In the meantime I would urge the people of Lancashire to get behind us and our campaign to cut the cuts.

“Residents can do two things.

“They can sign the petition started by Save Lancs Police which is can be found on Facebook and Twitter or on the Change.org website, or they can write to their MP expressing their concerns.

“The cuts proposed will change the way we police Lancashire for ever - it’s no good shouting after these changes come in and when you don’t get a response to your call for help.

“If we want to keep Lancashire safe we all need to act now.”