It is staggering that for the ninth consecutive year, the Government has cut police funding.
31 out of the 43 police forces will lose funding this year, in not only real terms but cash terms. In real terms, almost every single police force will lose out. Since 2015 the Government has promised to protect police funding, yet we have seen police numbers fall by 5,900. There is no precedent in post-war history for a Government undermining the police in the way that this Government has.
Never, since records began, has police-recorded violent crime been as high as it is today. Never has knife crime been as high as it is today. Arrests have halved in a decade. Unsolved crimes stand at more than 2 million, and 93% of domestic violence offences go unprosecuted. That is the shameful legacy of this Government, and Tory MPs remain the only people in this country who continue to deny the link between violent crime and falling officer numbers.
Who is paying the price for these Tory failures to fund the police? The Government’s funding settlement asks hard-pressed local tax payers to bear that burden once again. Using council tax to pay for increased funding for the police is perverse and unfair.
Merseyside will raise almost the same as rural North Yorkshire, despite having double the population and triple the level of violent crime. West Yorkshire has double the population and four times the level of violent crime of Surrey, yet it will be able to raise only about the same amount of funding this year.
This Government has an abominable record on law and order, and no political will to redress it. By passing the burden of their political failure on to local taxpayers, they are storing up problems for the future, which will see the forces with the largest increases in crime, especially violent crime, hit time and again.
The public knows this Government has failed and will continue to fail in its first and most solemn duty, to keep its citizens safe. These new cuts confirm that failure once again.
You can hear my full speech to the House in the video above.