LibLink: Sir Ed Davey: Chancellor must properly fund community policing

Ed Davey has written for Politics Home about the need for proper funding of community policing.

He outlined what has been happening in recent years:

We are seeing the police disappearing off our streets, clearing the way for criminals. After years of falling crime rates the latest statistics show a 13% increase recorded crime across England and Wales, and even steeper increases for violent offences including knife crime. That is why I am leading a debate in Parliament on the issue of police funding ahead of the Budget.

It also leads to the Met Police saying they aren’t going to investigate so-called “low level” crime.

This withdrawal essentially acts as a green light to criminals and can have a detrimental impact on the appearance and feel of communities. It appears that the Conservatives are happy to preside over the steady erosion of the British policing model that has served us so well.

Policing by consent relies on the premise that the police work in cooperation with the community and that they are a visible presence, building relationships, confidence and trust. This is vital to enable the police to conduct operations, with the support of the community, harvesting intelligence. If this disappears then a foundation of Britain’s policing model is lost.

And what would we do about it?

So Liberal Democrats believe we need urgently to invest in our police, before it is too late. Local communities are best placed to understand and respond to local needs but it is clear that money must come fromGovernment to support them. During the election we pledged an extra £300 million for the police in each year of this Parliament. The Conservatives had nothing to say then – so perhaps it’s not surprising they are promising further cuts.

You can read the whole article here.

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  • When Sir Edward was just plain Ed in the Coalition Government back in 2012, there was an article in the Daily Telegraph,

    “02 Dec 2012 Almost 7,000 officers’ jobs have been lost so far, with a total of 15,000 expected to go by 2015, and the government must radically rethink the way it funds forces, the commissioners who took control of budgets last month said. Speaking ahead of a meeting with Theresa May, the Home Secretary, today, the new police and crime commissioners (PCCs) also urged the Coalition to review private sector involvement in policing.”

    I wonder if Sir Edward could tell us whether he expressed such views to the Home Secretary at the time.

  • I am more than confused. Thought we wanted drugs decriminalised which would immediately free up police resources, drugs squads disbanded, huge budgets available for redistribution within the police, with more police then available – a policy I wholeheartedly support.
    Is this statement another example of HQ and our MPs going round in circles or worse?

  • theakes,

    Not a contradiction merely a recognition of reality. The Tories won’t decriminalise drugs, in fact they legislate to criminalise more and more, leave less and less police to crack down on the crimes that affect the majority of us. If the Tories want the police to do more they need more police unless they believe low level crime is a price worth paying .

    My I suggest you take a quick peek at

    To see the issues faced by the police.

  • Ian Hurdley 9th Nov '17 - 8:10am

    For fourteen years I served as a magistrate in a large metropolitan are in the North of England. What I saw there was that offending almost always starts small but if unchecked at that point will lead on to more serious offending. For the police to be forced by budgetary cuts to focus on the more serious offenses is pretty much guaranteed to lead to a long term increase in serious crime as a percentage of petty offenders become emboldened by their apparent impunity.

  • Richard Underhill 9th Nov '17 - 11:45am

    Although unemployment is falling and the government is boasting about historical comparisons, it is still above the figure of one million which was considered embarrassingly high by a previous Tory government. The are police volunteers who are very keen to become career police officers. Taking some of them onto the payroll at the community level should be considered, although rejection might demotivate them. It would be up to them individually as to whether to apply.

  • Frankie, I work closely with the police!!!

  • Well theakes you will know how stretched they are; which therefore puzzles me as to why you quibble at Davey asking for more of them.

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