- Redcar MP slammed the Prime Minister for cuts to Cleveland Police leading to the loss of officers and a crime spree
- Anna also called on Theresa May to restore government funding for neighbourhood policing to make our streets safe
At Prime Minister’s Questions today (21st February 2018) Labour MP for Redcar Anna Turley confronted Theresa May on policing cuts which have seen crime on Teesside skyrocket.
The Cleveland area has seen a £40 million cut to its budget in real terms since 2010/11, the year when Theresa May first entered government as Home Secretary. The cuts have led to the loss of over 500 officers on Teesside’s streets.
Over that same period, reported crime across the Cleveland Police area has seen an 18.3% increase.
For Redcar and Cleveland Borough, reported crime has increased by 9.9% and violent crime is up by a massive 46.4% since March 2011.
There have been several public meetings called by residents and local business owners in the borough who are scared and angry about the crime blighting local communities, including one on Tuesday night at the Cleveland Bay in East Redcar. At that meeting local MP Anna pledged to take residents' voices down to Parliament the next day.
Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions today, Anna asked Theresa May:
“Last night I attended a meeting of hundreds of Redcar residents who are deeply concerned about rising levels of crime and anti-social behaviour.
“Crime in Redcar has increased 18% since 2011, we have lost over 500 officers, and suffered £40 million worth of cuts to our local policing budgets.
“Will the Prime Minister commit straightaway to giving back the money for neighbourhood policing and will she apologise to the constituents of Redcar and Cleveland who have had to put their hands back in their pockets through the precept to compensate for her massive cuts?”
In response, the Prime Minister stated extra funding was being provided for police forces and that it was up to police and crime commissioners to decide how that money is spent.
In reality, Cleveland Police is receiving the same cash allocation in 2018/19 as it received in 2017/18.
Speaking afterwards, Anna said:
“The Prime Minister is out of touch with the real situation on our streets. On her watch, first as Home Secretary and now as Prime Minister, police budgets have been slashed and crime has shot through the roof.
“The hard work of our dedicated police officers is undermined by the force being spread too thinly. Residents are being asked to reach into their own pockets through the local precept and pay more for less as we will still have fewer officers than before. Government cuts are having real consequences to peoples' lives.
“The stories I heard at the public meeting worried me deeply. If the cuts don’t stop and investment in neighbourhood policing doesn’t start, I fear people who are desperate to protect their families and communities will take matters into their own hands.”