The Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester has accused Ministers of paying lip service to public safety, as the Government has so far failed to end the uncertainty about future police funding.
Speaking a week before the Home Secretary is expected to announce the police grant for 2019/20 – the money police forces receive from central government – Deputy Mayor Bev Hughes has urged Sajid Javid to make good on his promises to support local policing by turning the tide on eight years of savage cuts.
The Deputy Mayor’s calls were echoed by members of Greater Manchester’s Police and Crime Panel, as they were told that silence from Ministers on the state of future funding is fuelling concerns that Greater Manchester will face further cuts to policing.
“We cannot run a police service on empty promises,” says Deputy Mayor Bev Hughes.
“As ministers continue to pay lip service to the importance of local policing, police services are struggling to get on with the job in hand – keeping the public safe.
“Greater Manchester Police is facing unprecedented demand as it deals with the consequences of eight years of relentless cuts. But the Government’s attitude when it comes to fair funding is, quite frankly, shameful and disrespectful to our citizens, and to the police officers and staff who go above and beyond to protect our homes and streets.
“Add to that the budget black hole caused by the police pension changes and we are at the end of the line now, with the public really bearing the brunt as police struggle to respond to incidents. I urge the Home Secretary to take this opportunity to deliver on his promises and put his money where his mouth is.”
Cllr Tamoor Tariq, Chair of the Police and Crime Panel said: “Although the settlement is due next week, it’s still not too late for the government to listen to our grave concerns and provide the funding that policing and the public deserve to keep Greater Manchester safe. This comes at a time when the demands on police are greater than ever before. The thin blue line is getting even thinner and Government need to take action now.”