In July 2017 I was appointed Shadow Policing Minister and, since then, I’ve been active in opposing cuts to our police services.
Government funding of the police is down 30% in real terms since 2010-11. Ministers have failed to listen to police officers and Police and Crime Commissioners who have repeatedly warned that such large-scale cuts will hinder their ability to keep the public safe.
After nine years of government cuts to frontline policing, some 21,000 officers, 6,800 PCSOs and 18,000 police staff have left the police. As a result, neighbourhood policing, which helps to prevent crime, has been undermined.
Recorded crime has risen at the fastest rate since 1992 and the number of unsolved crimes now stands at more than 2.1 million.
Knife crime, violent crime, and high-harm offences are all on the rise. The levels of serious violence are not a spike but are part of a now five-year trend. Behind the figures are stories of young lives destroyed and families torn apart.
At the same time as police services are getting worse, the government is relying on increased council tax to plug the funding gap it’s created. Yet forces that have seen the biggest loss in officers will gain the least from these tax rises.
You can learn more about my views on different aspects of policing here and in the news stories below.