I recently undertook an online consultation about the rise in crime and the reduction in police officers and the impact that this is having in our neighbourhoods.
The early results have given me much to consider, particularly in relation to victims of crime and I want to expand the consultation to make sure that more constituents can take part.
As the darker evenings approach, how are you feeling about crime and police visibility where you live and in the places that you travel to on a regular basis?
With over 2000 fewer police officers, over 1200 fewer police staff and over 400 fewer Community Support Officers in the West Midlands it is no surprise to hear our Chief Constable, Dave Thompson say that the “strain is showing.” He has a tough job, the increased terrorist threat, the emergence of new crimes such as online fraud and the rise of violent crime is putting enormous pressure on our police force. Even the Conservative Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, has admitted that police resources are “very tight”.
Is the recent large increase in crime linked to the reduction in police numbers or do you think this is just a coincidence? If there are fewer police and Community Support Officers out and about, is low level crime in your neighbourhood on the increase? If the police are so stretched that they do not always respond in a timely way, will people stop reporting crime? If you are unfortunate enough to be a victim of crime how have you been treated? Many of us understand that capping police officers pay at one per cent for 7 years is unacceptable. There is much support for giving police officers a larger pay increase. Where should the money to pay for this come from? At the moment, the Government has said that Chief Constables find this extra cash from their “reserves”, reducing the money available for unknown emergencies here in our region. Can this be right?
I am increasingly worried about this. I am all for value for money and for making savings where we can but has it gone too far? What are the consequences of further cuts to the police budgets here in Wolverhampton?
What you think?
Please can you help me by taking part in my local survey about crime and policing, it will only take a minute and you can fill it out here;
I will share the results with you and let you know how I am using the information to press for greater policing resources for our area.