Ahead of the government's Budget next week, I have joined Teesside Labour MPs in writing to the Chancellor calling on him to address the crisis in local police funding. Year after year of cuts has seen our local force cut to the bone, meaning fewer officers on our streets at the same time as crime is rising. Anti-social behaviour, vandalism and burglaries are just some of the issues causing havoc in our communities at the moment. Without investment in Cleveland Police, I fear the neighbourhood policing we all value will become a thing of the past. We cannot let that happen.
Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer
14th November 2017
Re Police Funding Cuts - Cleveland Police
Labour Tees Valley MPs are writing to you ahead of the Budget to ask you to address the crisis in funding for our local police.
In the Cleveland Police Force area since 2010/11, our local force is £40m worse off (36%) in real terms, with a loss of some 500 officers and PCSO’s. This also needs to be understood in the context of so many fewer officers at a time when crime is rising.
The latest HMICFRC recognised the outstanding efforts of our Police and Crime Commissioner, and senior Police Officers at Cleveland Police, in an extremely positive report highlighting the efficiency and leadership of the force. In the past two years Cleveland Police progressed from “Requiring Improvement” to “Good” across all inspection categories. The next target for Cleveland Police is to become an ‘Outstanding’ force.
We are sure you will agree that neither we, nor our communities, can lay the blame for the shortage of police officers on the police, its governors and managers. Nor could anyone, in the light of recent inspection reports, claim the Force is either inefficient or performing poorly.
We are of the firm belief that the forthcoming budget must provide a formula for adequate and fair funding for Policing in general and our local Cleveland Force in particular. That must include fully funded provision for wage rises to officers and staff. The requirement to make PCC's find this from existing budgets will divert crucial funding away from frontline policing as well as essential discretionary spending on matters such as victim support, measures to combat people trafficking and modern slavery and community cohesion. All of which have been priorities for the Cleveland PCC and Cleveland Police since 2012.
Cleveland Police is high-performing and ambitious and it is critical that we retain a Police service that is appropriately funded and continues to deliver the highest levels of service to our constituents. This can only be achieved with a budget that delivers the funding the Police need through institutions that are local and accountable.
ANDY McDONALD MP DR PAUL WILLIAMS MP
MEMBER OF PARIAMENT FOR MIDDLESBROUGH MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR STOCKTON SOUTH
ANNA TURLEY MP ALEX CUNNINGHAM MP
MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR REDCAR MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR STOCKTON NORTH
MIKE HILL MP
MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR HARTLEPOOL