Police funding ‘mere drop in the ocean’ says Portsmouth MP

Responding to the Government’s police grant settlement today in the House of Commons, city MP Stephen Morgan says the funding for policing is ‘a mere drop in the ocean’.

The Government’s is plugging the funding gap in policing by increasing local taxes, a move which has been slammed by the Police Federation of England and Wales.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“The Government’s approach on resources for policing just isn’t working. Using council tax to enable increased funding for the police is perverse and fundamentally unfair.

For instance, Surrey, with half the population and a quarter of the violent crime of West Yorkshire will be able to raise almost exactly the same amount. There should be no winners and losers when it comes to public safety”.

Worryingly, this is the ninth consecutive year of Tory cuts to central government funding to the police.

The total increase (including the pension grant) in central-government funding for local forces amount to £303m yet government-imposed increases in pension contributions will amount to £311m, meaning a ninth consecutive year of real-terms cuts in Tory funding to local forces.

The city MP added:

“Today’s settlement is merely a drop in the ocean for Hampshire, and at a time that we have seen 1,007 police officers lost from our Constabulary this just isn’t good enough.

As the National Audit Office has found Government funding to local forces has been cut by £2.7bn in real terms since 2010 and the precept rise will recoup just a small proportion of that”.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary warned in their annual assessment that some forces are so stretched ‘the lives of vulnerable people could be at risk’.

John Apter, National Chair of the Police Federation added:

“The truth is that this appears to be a quick fix. A sticking plaster solution that injects extra money in the short term, but one which sees the burden falling unfairly on local council tax payers.

They are passing the buck of funding the police service to the public by doubling the council tax precept that Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) are allowed to charge.”

Every penny of this extra council tax precept must go into local policing to help keep communities safe,” he said.  But he accused the Government of ignoring the ‘bigger elephant in the room”.

Labour has a plan to make Britain safer by recruiting 10,000 more police officers, 1,000 more security and intelligence staff and 500 more border guards.

The party has also announced they will increase staffing levels and resources for the security and intelligence agencies to counter the growing and unprecedented terror threat.

Stephen Morgan MP added:

“Our pledge on neighbourhood policing will reverse the crisis we see and put officers back in Portsmouth’s communities.

I will continue to lobby this Government for proper funding for our city’s police force”.